Rudimentary beginnings and errata
There is something to be said regarding the creation of life. Creation in itself is unique, personal, and innate -- and some say it often has a life of it's own. And while the life I am creating in this experiment is artifical like a painting or a sculpture, I create it to emulate life.. and while fruitless, I do find myself hoping that it will find a life of its own.
My experiment involves using Second Life as a platform for designing artificial life forms. The first iteration of which is inspired by Surina Skullagrimson's work with fish. Already surfing the artifical life forums for some design tips and concepts, I've begun work on my first generation of fish.
This is where my project starts off on its own path. My goal is genetics -- I want to create a method for my fish to evolve. It is my hope that I will merely provide them with the means to breed and develop and become lifeforms.. develop new species and characteristics.
The attempt will be to model the fish around simplified metrics that define a species. At the lowest level, an organism has traits. Traits are a measurable metric which on its own does not perform a function. Such things like hunger, longevity, strength, sight -- these are traits. The next level are characteristics -- these are the functions that use many traits. Things like attractiveness, instincts, awareness, alertness... these are the functions which define what the organism is capable of. Finally, the strongest characteristics form the species; which in this experiment will mainly be discernable by the colour and strongest characteristics.
So right now, I have catfish. I fully intend to raise guppies, but catfish is all I've got right now. They're still not even fleshed out and only really know how to swim, stay in the water, form groups.. and apparently escape. I keep them in a pen to keep them in a controlled and managed area. When I logged in this evening to check up on them, they'd managed to squeeze their way into a rather difficult to reach space.
Needless to say, I'm already impressed.