Hi everyone, meet Stoly. He's a humanoid biped carnivore who likes to dance: [video]
He was created using the free Spore Creature Creator Trial, for Windows and Mac. Spore is one of those upcoming games that I'm a little conflicted about. On the one hand it was developed by Will Wright at Maxis, one of my all-time favorite gaming shops. On the other hand, Maxis is now owned by EA / the Walmart of game publishers. I
won't go into the reason why Electronic Arts sucks - all you need to know is that together with Ubisoft, they are the worst thing to happen to digital entertainment innovation since someone gave Hideo Kojima a computer. Anyhow, in the vein of games like Black and White, SimCity and, well, pretty much every other other Maxis game, what's unique about Spore is that it will give you near-complete control over the game experience, and lets you design your own race of super- (or sub-) creatures, all the way from being a single-cell organism to establishing an interstellar civilization.
In that sense, it's as much a toy as a game (the creature creator being a good example of this), and one of the few games out there that I would encourage young kids to play. If you're on Windows or Mac you can download the trial and start making your own creatures. Even cooler, you can create videos (duh) and photos of your creations and share them with the Spore
community market base.
There's also tight integration to directly upload your videos to Youtube, though that's useless to me since I don't have a Youtube account. I'm split between pre-ordering what could be a very inspiring game, and refusing to give monopolistic companies more of my hard-earned cash. For now, though, you can enjoy my video of Stoly - and I
swear promise assure you that he wasn't named after a favorite brand of Vodka... ;)