Darwinia and Multiwinia (video games)
Darwinia. Introversion, March 2005. Multiwinia. Introversion, September 2008. Darwinia+. Introversion, February 2010.
"Darwinia is a 2005 real-time tactics and real-time strategy video game for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It is the second game developed by Introversion Software, and is set within a computer environment that simulates artificial intelligence."
All three games reviewed by William Tung-peng Sun, SFRA Review #293 (Summer 2010): pp 29-30.
The premise of Darwinia and Multiwinia, of a digital world corrupted by virus, is strangely similar, but probably unrelated, to the shattering revelation about mankind in the novel under the same title, Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson in [New York: Tor,] 1998. In Wilson’s Darwinia, human beings are actually consciousness preserved in the supercomputer-like Archive, threatened by the virus-like Psilifes that presented alternative paths of evolution. Time has already ended for human beings. In Darwinia, however, the Darwinians are indigenous of the virtual world, and they are supposed to evolve with each generation. Darwinians have a future, supposedly. The visual style of Darwinia has always been called “Retro”: it expresses a kind of nostalgia for a future of virtual reality, as represented by science fiction films such as Tron (1982), Lawnmower Man (1992), and Johnny Mnemonic (1995) — a future that never was. In fact, Darwinia makes a number of in-jokes about the culture memes of cyberspace with many variations of intros, including one styled after The Matrix (1999).
The science fiction films simulate computer simulation of reality; [...] but the film representations of digital beings as vulnerable to the destruction of their graphic representation has never been an imitation of any reality — since such reality does not exist. Darwinia and Multiwinia simulate these simulations as computer games; they recreate the fantasy about computer simulation as computer simulation. [...] Darwinia and Multiwinia are simulations of simulations that would make Jean Baudrillard rejoice.
RDE, finishing, 1Ap21