Spore is a simulation game about building and controlling a species from its single-cell origins through its evolution to master of the planet and beyond, and victory is achieved by reaching a black hole at the galaxy’s center and either befriending or defeating the cyborg species that guards it. The game is divided into five increasingly complex phases—cell, creature, tribal, civilization, and space— with the outcome of one phase affecting the conditions that face the player in the next. In the first two phases the player engages in a detailed process of self-fashioning, from number of eyes and legs to eating habits; the creature stage, when the player most actively designs a unique avatar and assigns the creature its idiosyncrasies, has been described as particularly intimate, like getting to know a friend. In the tribal and civilization stages the game moves away from the individual creature to strategic interactions—some poetic, such as charming allies with song, some brutal, like the crushing of rival tribes—with other inhabitants. The space stage is the game’s most expansive, encouraging a free-flowing, open-ended style of play: there are stars to explore, colonies to build, species to abduct or annihilate. Creation here extends to undiscovered planetary territories, which can be terraformed (a hypothetical process of planetary engineering) to render them more hospitable. Along the way, players are given tools to custom-build creatures and objects, which can be uploaded for other players in a very connected and interactive community to use. Although the game is accessible and technically uncomplicated, even for the amateur gamer, the crowdsourced creations are vivid and expressive and the epic-scale narrative echoes that of our own civilization and its individuals. Spore’s broad virtual community also provides a stage for interactive creation and communication.