Posted by: Rob Viens | October 25, 2012

Fate, Winds and Darwinian Games

As the Beagle‘s biscuit stores slowly dwindled, Darwin’s entries became more focused on the rate at which the ship progressed northward.  In his words, the direction and speed of the wind literally determined the emotional state of the crew:

“A fair breeze, right aft; we have not for the last 24 hours gone less than 6 knots an hour.— It may sound strange, but it is necessary for a person to be some time in a ship, before he understands how to enjoy a favourable wind; it is something like the pleasure of riding fast, although with no particular end in view; & this pleasure must be solely derived from habit.— In the same manner, during a fair breeze nothing can be more delightful than the general cheerfulness which pervades the whole ship.” (Oct 25)

Although Darwin didn’t have an ipad or smart phone to help the time pass, you can play a few rounds of “Evolution 2” while waiting to see what the crew’s fate would be:

Evolution 2 Flash Game

As I have mentioned before, I love how Darwin has become a part of our pop culture, including the world of games. One of the best modern examples is the game “Spore” (and it’s predecessor “SimEarth”). The goal of these games is to guide the evolution of life from simple microbes to space-faring intelligent beings. It isn’t exactly the same as the real deal, but the premise is certainly based on Darwin’s theory. Another very recent (i.e., still in beta) “story-based” game called Evolve uses the “StoryNexus” platform to take players through the evolution of life. If you know of other Darwin-related games please feel free to share in the comments. Until then…

Rationing Countdown (days till the Beagle runs out of “bread”): 2 days


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