why paleontologists are sick of virtual dinosaurs

why paleontologists are sick of virtual dinosaurs


In a time almost without spoilers, the arrival to the confrontation against the t-rex in the first Tomb Raider is one of those scenes that are not easily forgotten. To the unexpectedness of the situation in the eyes of a child, was added having in front of one of the animals that can awaken the most fascination.

for the world of paleontologyHowever, that meeting is far from being something that deserves to be remembered. They believe that the representation of dinosaurs in the world of videogames, and therefore also paleontology, is poor, wrong and even sexualized, and they have created a study to try to prove it.

The dinosaur as an enemy

The idea of ​​the dinosaur as a monster waiting to be defeated is neither new nor a direct influence of other cultural products such as Jurassic Park. The first time we meet a tyrannosaurus rex it was in 3D Monster Mazereleased in 1982 and considered one of the first horror games in history.

More or less of the same time yes they are the appearance of Yoshi in 1990 and, coinciding with the launch of jurassic-park in 1993, the publication of the management game Dino Park Tycoon who was trying without much success to ride the imminent wave of his success.

Then came the dinosaurs from the aforementioned Tomb Raider, Turok, Dino Crisis, and even those from the adaptation of the movie King Kong (terrific game), but all of them would maintain the same creative line, the representation of the dinosaur as a monster waiting to be annihilated. .

It would not be until 2017 that, with the launch of sauriana simulator for PC that intended to put us in the shoes of a dinosaur, the video game world would approach that of paleontology to ask for advice and guidelines on a correct representation of lizards in a virtual environment.

The video game as an educational tool

Seen from this perspective, it is necessary to recognize that the mosqueo has a base on which to rest. According to the study, video game dinosaurs are limited to being used as enemy that must be killed, as tool for a purpose often related to violence, or as fossil waiting to be collected for the mere fact of displaying it as a trophy or being sold to the highest bidder.

Only the branch of management games and the few simulators on the market come close to what, from the world of paleontologyis considered a missed opportunity: the possibility of informing and educating about our past and its position in the tree of life.

Although it is true that the studio falls into demanding more than trying to bring positions closer, and that sometimes it relies too much on past mistakes as a representation of the current situation, it is clearly understandable that they dream of another type of dinosaurs in the games.

The use of video game as an educational tool not only is it more than proven, but it is an excellent way of bringing concepts to the public that would otherwise be too boring to generate a minimum interest.

The problem is that, due to the fascination they arouse and the representation that other media have made of it, addressing another type of games with dinosaurs Searching for commercial success is not an easy task. Luckily we will always have more niche experiments like Dinosaur Fossil Hunter.


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