The NewWorld software simulates the long term effect on populations of various behaviors including various degrees of conservation (or the lack thereof) as well as cheating, warring, peaceful solidarity, and generousity. The survival and success of the animals is tracked, so that you can experiment with different situations and behaviors, to see what works well and what doesn't.
The NewWorld simulation was designed in order to test a very generic theory of ethics. This theory, called Universal Ethics is sufficiently generic that it could be applied to various form of life, not just humans. This is useful because it helps us get past the typical discrimintory practices that have created difficulties for people over human history. Moreover, in the event that we were ever to discover any intelligent life outside of our solar system, we can identify some foundational ethical principles that would likely apply to both them and us.
To find out more about real-world applications of universal ethics, check out the web site: http://www.UniversalEthics.org. Real world ethics is more complicated than in the simulated world, but the simulation demonstrates some basic principles.
Here are some screenshots that show you how it works. The first one show the program launcher after you have installed the software and accepted the license agreement:
You have the option of running some predefined experiments, or you can create your own. To create your own, you define the initial population along and the behaviors of each kind of animal:
If you aren't sure what the parameters mean, you can position the cursor into andy field and press F1 for an explanation. Or you can accept default values. After saving the specifications, you run the simulation. It shows a map that illustrates the plants and animals, and some statistical graphs. The map looks like this:
As the simulation progresses, the map shows plants and animals appear (as they reproduce) and disappear (as they are eaten). This provides a visual representation of the population that is interesting to watch. Also you can watch the graphs as they change:
The graph screens let you monitor the populations, energy levels, and success of the various kinds of animals (including people). Animals can become extinct not just if too many are eaten, but also if they starve (run out of energy). For the animals that survive, you may find it interesting to monitor their "happiness" levels, based on five success measures that you can select for each kind of animal.
What kinds of behaviors produce survivability and happiness? These are important questions that philosphers have tried to answer since the beginning of time, but until now there has been no practical way to test even the most fundamental of theories. Now, thanks to modern computer simulation, we can run experiments across multiple generations in just a few minutes, and we can do it without putting any real people at risk!
This program isn't exactly a game. Maybe it's a toy, or maybe it's a tool. Feel free to try it out!. Hopefully you will find it to be both fascinating and thought provoking.
NewWorld is free to use and easy to install on any computer with Windows XP or a newer Windows release, such as Windows Vista. You will download a single Setup.exe file and run it on your computer to install the software. The file is smaller than 2 Megabytes so it will download very quickly.
|Download NewWorld Setup.exe|
The NewWorld Simulation web site is hosted by Freelance Wizards Inc. (Canada)