A popular modosophont recreational activity in the Negentropic Alliance is called Cosmogenesis, a 'game' whose principle object is to develop a ruleset whereby a cosmos may be created and continue to operate over a simulated period of time. Once the ruleset has been crafted, there is no further input by the creator — it becomes a passive observation of events.
There are Cosmogenesis Chambers available at most Negentropic polity stations, ships, planets, orbitals, etc, and they tend to see steady use. Due to the processing requirements, (according to the documentation, anyways) there is a noticeable high-stress delay between activation of the program and the resultant. If the resultant is a new high score for the area, the simulation will offer the creator the right to view a simulation of the events. If it is not a new high score, this service is available for a minor fee. Note that not all connoisseurs of the game will take this offered replay, instead preferring to tweak their ruleset and rerun rather than 'waste time' on the graphical display.
The game is scored based on the duration the simulation can successfully run without an 'endgame' condition — gravitational collapse, heat death, or other mass destruction. The generation of life within the sim or alife generates a significant bonus. There is a huge bonus for the generation of sentient life, but this bonus has yet to be awarded.
There is a decent amount of competition, as well as sale of previously-proven rulesets and training on the generation of rulesets by famous practitioners of the game. The sophont who first stumbled across the right conditions to generate alife within the simulation is in such high demand that e has chosen to work on es own, in a private Cosmogenesis Chamber.
Text by John B
Initially published on 10 January 2003.