Articles | Volume 5, issue 3
Review article
27 Sep 2022
Review article |  | 27 Sep 2022

The perception of palaeontology in commercial off-the-shelf video games and an assessment of their potential as educational tools

Thomas Clements, Jake Atterby, Terri Cleary, Richard P. Dearden, and Valentina Rossi

Related subject area

Subject: Geoscience education | Keyword: Science engagement and dialogue
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Geosci. Commun., 6, 1–9,,, 2023
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Nicholas J. Kinar
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Cited articles

3D Monster Maze: Sinclair ZX81, J. K. Greye Software [game], Bristol, UK, 1982. 
Abzû: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Giant Squid Studios [game], Santa Monica, California, USA, 2016. 
American Truck Simulator: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, SCS Software [game], Prague, Czechia, 2016. 
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Panache Digital Games [game], Montreal, Canada, 2019. 
Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Division (EAD) [game], Kyoto, Japan, 2020. 
Short summary
Video games are the largest sector of the entertainment industry and often contain ancient animals (e.g. dinosaurs) and/or fossils. This may be the first or only exposure gamers have to palaeontology, and it provides a useful starting point for science outreach. However, video games are not typically designed to be educational. We investigate the use of palaeontology in video games and highlight common tropes that may skew the public perception of palaeontological science.
Final-revised paper