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Spore is an artificial life simulation video game developed by Maxis in which the player is tasked with developing a species from a single-cell organism in its primordial stage to highly intelligent and social creatures that are capable of interstellar exploration through a series of biological evolutionary stages. Upon its release in September 2008, Spore drew much online attention for its open-ended and cross-genre approach to gameplay, including elements of action, real-time strategy and role-playing games.
On June 18th, 2008, Maxis, the American video game developer behind other popular simulation titles like Simcity and The Sims, released the Spore Creature Creator, a character-editing application that allows its users to create their own custom creatures and share them with others through the Sporepedia gallery. On September 7th, 2008, Maxis released Spore for the Windows and Mac OS X systems, an open-ended simulation game based on the expanded concept of Spore Creature Creator and featuring an additional five stages the player can progress through: cell stage, creature stage, tribal stage, civilization stage and space stage.
The game spawned several expansion packs adding additional creature customization items in Creepy and Cute and Bot Parts, as well as an adventure creator to make customized missions in Galactic Adventures.
On August 25th, the mobile game Spore Origins was released, featuring gameplay similar to the cell stage from the original Spore (shown below, left). On September 7th, the adventure game Spore Creatures was released for the Nintendo DS, in which the player controls and evolves a worm-like creature named Oogie (shown below, right).
On October 6th, 2009, the game Spore Hero was released for the Nintendo Wii that revolves around a mouthless creature who must fight against an evil being attempting to corrupt life on a planet. On April 26th, 2011, the role-playing game Darkspore was released, which uses the creature editing software from Spore (shown below, right).
On June 15th, 2008, the /r/spore subreddit was created for discussions related to the game. On September 24th, the webcomic Xkcd posted a comic which joked about playing old games “in order of scale” to simulate the Spore gameplay experience. On July 18th, 2010, the Spore Wiki was launched, garnering upwards of 1,300 entries over the next four years.
The Sporepedia is an online database containing player-made creature creations. As of July 2014, the site has over 184 million submissions.
Spore was initially released with SecuROM digital rights management (DRM) copy protection, requiring users to authenticate the game for online access. According to the Washington Post, fans protested the DRM by rating the game poorly on Amazon, with over 2,000 1 star ratings in the first week of launch. On December 4th, 2008, Torrent Freak published an article reporting that a cracked version of Spore had become the year’s most-pirated game, with over 1.7 million downloads.
Many humorous creatures have been made with the game’s creature creator, some of which reference various fictional characters and Internet memes, including Dick Butt (shown below, left) and Pedobear (shown below, right). Additionally, creatures created with over-sized genitalia and breasts are referred to as “sporn.”
Clark and Stanley
Clark and Stanley are two comedic characters from the Spore expasion pack Galactic Adventures who have been featured in many photoshopped images, illustrations and parody videos.