Interesting pre-review of the long-awaited Spore, due out in stores in September. bit-tech.net | Spore: Hands-on Preview – Pollinated Content.
Most interesting comment:
one of the coolest and most interesting things about the game on both a technical and casual level [is] the [Pollination] system by which Spore is creating a whole new genre — Massively Online Singleplayer.
Yeah, that seems like a contradiction. Bear with us and let us explain.
Every time a player starts a game in Spore they're given a new planet. The planet is the same every time and serves as little more than a blank slate for the creatures to play on.
Except, it isn't always the same and, although the landscape is always basically the same, the types of other animals and vegetation are actually sourced from other Spore players. Their content spills over into your game to keep things fun and perpetually new but, in order to accommodate to casual gamers and those who don't actually want to play multiplayer, those players aren't actually in control of their content.