It looks like a biologically accurate video gamea about wolves (yes, they are in Yellowstone Park) has been produced by the Minnesota zoo. Video Game Looks into the World of Wolves. By Steve Karnowski. AP

You can download the game at: http://www.wolfquest.org 

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Video Game Looks Into World of Wolves

  1. Interesting…. I like this concept. I have often thought that if real effort was put into the realism of an “eco-game” it could be successful. I mean, how popular is the Nature Channel? If you think about all the struggles any animal goes through in a given day, it would make great adventure or strategy play. I hope someone expands on this idea. High quality graphics and deep gameplay are the keys to getting users for this type of game. Imagine a multiplayer online format for a game like this. Your pack goes up against others for territory. There are struggles for authority within your pack. A harsh winter makes hunting difficult. You could do all of these things within the framework of real wolf behavior, and it would take some real learning to be good at it. This would be both fun for kids, and a way to subversively insert an agenda into their psyches.

    Wait… did I say that last part out loud?

  2. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Ecologist Paul Sears called ecology the “subversive” science more than 40 years ago.

    It’s OK to be subversive. Indeed, given today’s society, it is absolutely necessary.

    If this medium gets kids to think about ecology and biology in a realistic and accurate way, I’m all for it.

    It’s like J.K. Rowling turning kids onto reading with the Harry Potter books, despite the evangelicals’ horrific claims that Rowling was turning kids onto witchcraft.

    Actually, she was turning them onto story-telling and thinking for themselves. Another form of subversion.

    Subversion is good.

  3. avatar Maska says:

    I’m all for it, too, with one caveat. One can only hope that the kids’ involvement with nature doesn’t end with a video game. Let’s hope some interested adult is willing to take them out into the actual, as opposed to virtual, world of nature, so they can hear, feel, smell, and taste the magical, earthy, messy, and sometimes bloody world of the biosphere, not just watch it on a screen.

    Would we have enjoyed–and valued–as much the Mexican wolves we heard howling on New Year’s Eve had they been on the sound track of a video game or in an I-Max presentation, rather than across a snowy forest road from our tent? It’s something to ponder….

    For a provocative view of “virtual nature,” check out an essay by Paul Shepard called “Virtually Hunting Reality in the Forests of Simulacra,” which appears as chapter two in the 1995 book “Reinventing Nature? Responses to Postmodern Deconstruction,” edited by Michael E. Soule and Gary Lease, Island Press.

    See also Rachel Carson’s little gem, “A Sense of Wonder.”

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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