Think of it as a virtual, animated tinker toy. Or, think of it as an opportunity to create life. Sodaplay provides a deep and fun world for exploration by the scientific and the playful.

As they explain: “looking at the fluid, lifelike way these creatures walk and roll and slink across the screen you might think that there must be some very complicated stuff going on behind the scenes. well fear not, it’s actually very simple. It only looks complicated because lots of simple bits are working together. When simple bits work together you can get emergent behaviour. that means that the system as a whole can be more complex and sophisticated than the simple bits that it’s made out of.”

First, visit the Sodazoo. Scroll right and left to view the first 80 or so Sodacritters – creations of Sodaplayers from around the world. Click on any one. Watch it dance. Then play with the controls. Watch it change. Then go back to the Sodacritter collection. Repeat. Repeat repetitively. Then make your own.

For the documentation-needy, there’s ample information on the Sodaconstructor page.

Sodaplay is the first virtual toy to earn the coveted Major FUN Award. It sets a standard that I truly hope will challenge imitators and innovators alike.

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