I think I'd better let him explain it himself
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15 ... on-your-pc
Excerpt from the project page
Imagine that someone has discovered alien creatures on a nearby planet and is planning to import them to Earth to sell as pets. Would you want to buy one?
What would you do with it? Where should you keep it? What is it capable of? Does it have alien dreams, hopes, fears? Does it have its own primitive language? Its own culture? What should you feed it? What makes it sick and how do you look after it? Can this species safely coexist with that species? Is it possible to get the creatures to breed, here on Earth? Might they evolve? Can we understand their biology? Can we interpret the structure of their brains? Are they conscious? Should they have rights?
I can't promise actual physical aliens from another planet, but I can offer you real 'alien' life forms who can live in a virtual world on your computer. And I do mean real. I'm not talking about a computer game designed to simulate lifelike behavior; I mean genuine artificial life. I mean virtual creatures constructed from complex networks of virtual brain cells and biochemical reactions and genes. [...] If you conclude that they're conscious, thinking, feeling beings then it won't be because I've somehow fooled you. I'm not here to fool you; I'm here to celebrate the beauty and complexity of life with you.
[...]Ever since I finished the Creatures game (the forerunner of what I'm attempting now) around 15 years ago, I've devoted myself to artificial life and artificial intelligence research.[...] I don't want to take it to a publisher because it will cease to be a labor of love and a work of art and science, and instead become a commercialized video game. I'm asking for the bare minimum I can live on while I put my latest ideas into practice (it's going to take about another 12 months), but if you can help me raise more than my goal then I can probably afford to eat as well and do a better job with the game. I'd really appreciate that. Thank you.
I'd kinda assumed someone would have already posted this here, but apparently not. The project is in fact already funded(!), but there's still 2 weeks to get such things as a preorder of the game with access to the beta versions, up to access to a private developement forum and tools.
I'd have kicked myself if i'd somehow missed this opportunity. I really suggest you look into it.