Computer Game Tester Jobs
We are not short of attempts to show what alien life forms might look like. In science fiction we have an abundance of images in books, magazines, television programs, films, and in the past couple of decades, computer games. Figure 15.1 shows one of literally thousands of examples. In the majority of cases the aliens are intelligent and leave much to be desired in their behavior.
About twenty-five years ago I developed a computer simulation to illustrate the power of artificial selection a kind of computer game equivalent to breeding prize roses or dogs or cattle. The player is faced with an array of nine shapes on the screen - 'computer biomorphs' - the middle one of which is the 'parent' of the surrounding eight. All the shapes are constructed under the influence of a dozen or so 'genes', which are simply numbers handed down from 'parent' to 'offspring', with the possibility of small 'mutations' intervening on the way. A mutation is just a slight increment or decrement in the numerical value of the parent's gene. Each shape is constructed under the influence of a particular set of numbers, which are its own particular values of the dozen genes. The player looks over the array of nine shapes and sees no genes but chooses the preferred 'body' shape she wants to breed from. The other eight biomorphs disappear from the screen, the chosen one glides to the...
Let's accept for the sake of argument my paraphrasing of Bill Joy's point that soon any damn fool who was pissed off might be able to destroy the world. In a world where a couple of teenage video-game geeks decide to blow away their classmates, where people drop smart bombs on cities and crash planes into buildings, it's impossible to believe that nobody would do it.*
Nowadays ants have lost their previous importance in legend and ritual, but instead they figure prominently in books and films. The French writer Bernard Werber, for instance, is widely known for his best-selling Ants trilogy (The Empire of the Ants, The Day of the Ants, and The Revolution of the Ants). Ants now figure in a broad range of popular culture, from many works of science fiction, to novels, children's books, comics, and video games.