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Introducing Animal Warrior

animal_warrior Animal Warrior* has all of the elements of a great video game: a perilous task, bad guys, all kinds of obstacles to overcome and puzzles to solve, exotic settings, high-tech weaponry, and general mayhem.  

Well, it could have all of those things, if someone would just take the idea and produce it. In addition to making a pile of money, the game could do some good in the real world by highlighting one of the most important conservation issues of our time.

The goal: Stop evil poachers from capturing and killing endangered species like rhinos, elephants, lions, tigers, orangutans, and leopards in remote areas of Africa and Asia. The poachers are using assault rifles, helicopters, and high-tech detection and communications tools to locate and kill the animals – and the game wardens trying to protect them. Stop the poachers, save the animals, and help the wardens.

Game action: Outsmart the poachers and smugglers by undertaking paramilitary maneuvers to thwart, capture, or kill them, overcoming obstacles and various natural perils in remote and challenging environments, and creating alliances with local game wardens and communities. Avoid inadvertently injuring or killing randomly appearing eco-tourists and innocent locals, and don’t cause significant habitat destruction as you confront and battle poachers.

Not only would Animal Warrior be a blast (literally) to play, it could also help to create wider awareness of and empathy for the real-world problem of poaching. Extra bonus: some portion of the likely-to-be-huge profits could be donated to current anti-poaching efforts in Asia and Africa. It’s a win-win-win. Who’s game?

*My working title for the game; if you create it, you can call it whatever you want. And take all the credit, too.

Elephant photograph by nickandmel2006 on flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • http://rauschma.de/ Axel Rauschmayer

    Great idea. The game could also go into a more Sim-City-like direction. From what I remember from a Jane Goodall project for protecting the jungle, they tried to find a solution that helped everyone. I think they managed to both prevent illegal logging and help loggers to provide for their families.
    Now, I don’t have the slightest idea what kind of people poachers and smugglers are (they may well be 100% evil), but I’d guess that some of them don’t see another way of earning an income.

    • ediefr

      It’s a tough situation. Some communities have figured out that maintaining natural habitats and animal populations provide long term dividends in terms of eco-tourism. But there are plenty of outsiders who will pay local warriors and farmers too well for ivory, rhino horn, and even live animals. By taking that money, the local people put their entire community in a bad situation for the long term.

      The game, to be successful in the current blockbuster videogame world, probably has to have some good vs. evil paramilitary stuff in it. But maybe not — the Sim-City idea is excellent. Converting poachers to game wardens has worked in some communities, and there’s a lot of funding coming from governments and other organizations these days. Balancing all of that in a Sim-City-like game would be pretty interesting, and maybe some solutions would emerge that could take hold in the real world.