Published on October 21st, 2022 | by David Marshall
Episode 146/147: Palaeo Gaming
Computer games are a colossal industry, eclipsing those of both film and music combined. With so many people playing games, and with so many titles focussing on palaeontological themes, should we be concerned about the accuracy and quality of their content?
If you like this content and wish to see full reviews of many of these games (and lots more), please check out the Palaeocast Gaming Network channel on YouTube.
Unfortunately, the majority of titles show dinosaurs as adversaries (65%). In many of these games, the dinosaurs could be substituted for any other monster/alien/zombie without drastically changing the mechanics of the game. Such titles are obviously not accurate, but might still represent a large proportion of any given individual’s exposure to palaeontological science.
Interestingly, some of the best games for education are those that inadvertently include palaeontological content or that can be used as a tool for the delivery of educational material. Such titles would include real-world simulators like American Truck Simulator or Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Games such like Minecraft can be ‘modded’ to contain additional content outside of the original scope of the game. In the Prehistoric Nature Mod, a vast number of palaeontological organisms have been added to Minecraft creating might possibly be the most complete and accurate representation of the fossil record in its entirety.