Culture Creep

Josh Pitzalis
2 min readApr 29, 2022

I was born in the late 80s, which means that I grew up playing Starcraft.

For those of you not born in the 80s, Starcraft is a computer game where you build little armies and conquer the map.

There were the future humans called Terrans. There were fancy hi-tech aliens with their spaceships and laser beams called the Protoss. And then there were creatures of the night, with slimy exoskeletons and tentacles, called the Zerg.

The Terran and Protoss could build structures anywhere but the Zerg could only build on creep. The creep was like a noxious ooze, a thick layer of grime that coated the landscape when enough Zerg got together. For the Protoss and Terran, it was a symbol of hostility and havoc, but for the Zerg, it was a biosphere. They needed it to survive.

I’m not sure if we’re the Zerg in this metaphor or if “they” are. It would be so nice to return to a world of good and evil where all we have to do is vanquish our enemies to win. But that’s not the world we live in.

We all nest in the familiar and shape our environments to match our needs. We are not hostile to one another, as much as we’re just indifferent. Oblivious to the degree to which our luxuries, preferences, and biases impinge on others’ social and physical environments.

We can’t just wipe the other players off the board in this game. There is no winning, only playing, and the Protoss and Terran and Zerg are going to have to figure out how to live together.