spring_alpha is a free software sim-society game based on drawings by Chad McCail which narrates a community’s attempt to create an utopian society.

Set in a fictitious industrial town, typical of many in Britain, the game aims at changing the rules by which the society in that world runs. This is done through hacking and altering the code that simulates that world, creating new types of behaviour and social interaction. How effective this becomes depends on the players’ ability to spread these new ideas into the society.


Within spring_alpha, social change is linked to changes in the fabric of the simulation code. The task of re-imagining society also means reimagining the software. spring_alpha is an exploration of software and social governance in relation to Free Software and Open Source practice.

A work by Simon Yuill.

The project will be presented at the Media Centre – Huddersfield, UK, 14 July – 14 October 05.