Creating Artificial Life for Interactive Art and Entertainment

This article consists of two sections: the first provides a brief overview of artificial-life art and entertainment software, some of the main products and their peculiarities; and the second describes one of the authors’ artificial-life software products, called “Life Spacies II,” which was created between 1997 and 1999. This system consists of a web page that allows users to create artificial-life creatures by simply typing in text characters using a web page “editor.” Written text is used as genetic code to model the creature’s body. The body shape subsequently influences the creature’s ability to move, which in turn determines the creature’s behavior, survival and reproduction within the “Life Spacies II” environment. In addition, users of the system can feed the creatures with text characters and thus even more actively influence the creatures’ survival and reproduction in their environment.