Spore has been the target of various criticisms since its launch in early September, but none have been quite so heavy-handed as those found at Anti-Spore, a website that decries the game's evolutionary principles while calling Will Wright "evil."
Stuart Houghton at Kotaku seems unsure whether the site is intended as ironic humor, and to be quite honest so am I, but the more I read the harder it gets to believe that Anti-Spore, described as "Resisting EA's War on Creationism," isn't a deadly serious site from someone genuinely concerned about EA's "attack on Christian values."
"Yesterday I found out about a new game called Spore when my son asked me to buy it for him. It looked innocent enough and has "E for Everyone" ESRB rating. But don't be mislead, apparently "everyone" means everyone they want to teach evolution to," the site's creator wrote in his opening post. "The entire game is propaganda aimed directly at our children to teach them evolution instead of creationism, or 'intelligent design' if you go for stupid PC terms. The object of the game is to evolve from a 'spore' into demon-like intelligent space creatures that violently take over the galaxy."
The author also decries the existence of "human looking characters who do things reserved only for games with an M rating," and is also presumably less than thrilled with the ability of players to create such characters. He makes special note of the Creature Creator's plethora of penises, saying, "This is not funny, this is not cute."
Spore creator Will Wright unsurprisingly earns some special bashing. The author refers to Sim City as "a fantastic game," not least because gamers who became too powerful or proud of their cities would inevitably be smitten by a tornado, earthquake or other humility-inducing disaster. But Spore has apparently revealed Wright's true colors. "You would think that as a member of the Episcopal Church, a smart man like Will Wright would not be capable of creating Spore," the author wrote. "However, we must be reminded that the Episcopal Church is the only church in America that ordains homosexuals on a regular basis. It makes sense that a perverted church would cause a man to make the creations he has in this game. It just may be that evolution is not the only thing to fear this game teaching your children."
But as straight as it's played, I just can't quite buy that's 100 percent serious. The author slams the existence of pornbeasts and giant penis monsters, but includes images and videos of those same creatures in action. His response to user feedback also hints at irony buried so deep that it's virtually undetectable: When one reader points out that fake penises can be built out of Lego, the author replies, "Part of the brilliant design of Lego is that the shapes of the pieces prevent children from creating anything sinful." But not a wink or a nudge or even a smirking twitch reveals that this is anything but completely serious.
I don't know. I just can't tell. But if you're curious, have a peek at antispore.com and see if you can figure it out. (And if you do, let me know.)