“The Dish” project first originated as a way to practice my newly acquired object oriented action script skills. Having recently become familiar with the action script 2.0 syntax. I have been looking for a project that would embody this form and logic, and would be interesting to me as an added bonus.
I have been toying with the idea of coding an organic environment or organism for some time and decided this would be a good opportunity.
This application creates a Petri dish like environment, and produces 10 different amoebas that belong to 10 different species. I planned on giving each species a different set of attributes (some of which could be identified as morally “good” behavior, and some could be identified as morally wrong), and set them thrive in a controlled environment to see which set of attributes will eventually take over the dish.
Each amoeba has its own unique physical appearance, which is randomly generated at the initiation of the application. This helps identify each species Visually. The amoebas move around the dish in random directions and occasionally bump into each other. The main attributes that each amoeba possesses are: life force, rep production rate, moral orientation(good or bad).
Every amoeba has a different life force potential which is represented in a spectrum of numeric values. Each particular amoeba possesses a life force that is randomly generated within the boundaries of its species Potential. Every few seconds. Since it’s birth and amoeba loses one life point. When amoeba reaches zero life points, it dies and disappears from the dish. Amoebas can lose or gain life force as a result of their bumping into other amoebas.
Each species has a different reproduction rate, which dictates the number of seconds between each time the amoeba duplicates itself.
There are five sets of moral orientation: extreme good, good, autistic, exploitive, and extreme exploitive. Whenever an amoeba bumps into another amoeba, a change of either or both amoeba’s life force may occur. In extreme good amoeba will give the newly met amoeba one life force point or two. An, autistic amoeba would cause no reaction in the life force of itself or its peers. And exploitive amoeba would take one or two life force points off its peer, life points that will be added to itself.
Each initiation of the application generates 10 amoebas of 10 different species. Those species have different settings to the above parameters. The first few experiments showed a significant and constant result – the exploitive amoeba species have taken over the dish in a very short time. I had to moderate the application so I added a few logical principles:
The reciprocal principle.
Whenever a good amoeba re-meets with the amoeba It has previously given life force to, it would receive twofold life force points without detracting from the giver. This represents the logic that good deeds are remembered and that help received initiates a reciprocal approach.
The sibling survival principle.
I have introduced a new parameter to the dish. Sibling survival dictates the chance of a newly created amoeba to reach an adult age and be able to reproduce. I have set the parameters so that the exploitive species have less of a chance to reach reproduction age, in an attempt to echo the logic that prescribes exploitive parents would have less inclination to protect and defend their offsprings, thus rendering them less likely to mature.
I was hoping these two principles will help moderate the harsh realities that were reflected by my little experiment. As an added bonus, I added another parameter:
The intelligence of all species is represented by a numerical value – zero. Every time and amoeba duplicates itself. There is a small chance of mutation that when give the new offspring of a higher intelligence. This intelligence would be inherited by all its offsprings, and can be increased again as a result of the future mutation. Once an amoeba species reaches a certain level of intelligence. There is a chance for them to actually create a culture. I was hoping to develop this into a way of giving added value to this game. I had some ideas about letting the amoebas develop self-awareness, and may be leaving the dish and taking over the computer that serves as the basis of their existence, maybe even exporting themselves through the web to infest other petri dishes on other computers, etc.
unfortunately these grandiose notions were never fulfilled, as time was of the essence parenthesis as it always is) and I had to make way to different projects, as well as the necessities of life and family.
You’re welcome to examine this application at its developmental stage.
You consuming them view the members or initiate different reports on the development of each species and the history of the particular petri dish you have initiated.