September 22, 2019

WE ARE ALL dESIGNIST NOW:

Ancestors is a video game that reveals how the first humans evolved (Mark Maslin, 9/22/19,  THE CONVERSATION)

As an academic scientist who researches human evolution, I was surprised to receive an email one day from Patrice D├ęsilets, a top computer game designer responsible for the first two Assassin's Creed games. He was working on a new game based on our early evolution in Africa, he said, and was using my book The Cradle of Humanity as one of the key reference texts. Would I like to be involved?

Patrice invited my family to Montreal in early 2018 to play and comment on an early beta version. He was greatly amused that my youngest daughter is a true gamer while I always toggle the wrong way (I'm sorry but ... up should mean up). But despite my dodgy controlling, I enjoyed a stunning game with a unique subject matter, and one which I believe offers some key insights into human evolution.

The newly released Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an open world survival game where you control a group of "hominins" - our first ancestors - and explore, expand, and lock in new knowledge so your "clan" can evolve. It takes the players from 10m years ago, and the common ancestor of both chimpanzee and hominins, to 2m years ago, when you can play as an early version of Homo erectus. The aim of the game is ultimately to evolve to the point when humans began to leave Africa.

Posted by at September 22, 2019 9:08 AM

  

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