Phylomon, I choose you!

Some random internet stumbling led me to what promises to be a very cool project for nature lovers, eductors, kids, 90’s kids and the young at heart: Phylomon. It’s currently in the early stages of development, but the gist of the project is that the Pokemon phenomenon was able to capture the minds of millions of children, so a well-crafted trading card game based on real animals could be both a good game and a useful tool.

I’m all for it – children growing up in the city often have precious few chances to interact with the natural environment, and I believe that appreciating the environment is extremely important. A game that is well designed can be fun, intellectually stimulating, and might inspire people to get out there and see the real thing (or at least be more inclined to protect it!). I might be a bit over-optimistic (I was a Magic: The Gathering tragic growing up, and played Pokemon, so this ticks all my boxes), but this has the prospect of being an excellent form of science communication.

Spitting Shingleback: Tiliqua rugosa; not much good for attacking, but some spectacular defence!

They’ve currently put out a call for artistic contributions – whether they be graphically designed, drawn or real photograps – of animals, which may be selected for use on the finished product. I say ‘product’ – the whole process is open-source type stuff, which will be made available at no charge. Free games? Woohoo! I’m planning on submitting some photos of animals to the pool.

Stalking Mantid - Family Mantidae, bloody hard to classify further, but it hates Spearows.

Categories: environmentalism, photos, Science | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Phylomon, I choose you!

  1. M@

    Heh, shweet idea – but there was no mention of ‘battling’, ‘fighting’ etc… which kind of stinks (from a kids point of view). My prediction for how this game *could* turn out to be popular and or as revolutionary as the creators hope; is if it becomes a kind of dungeons and dragons game – with that pokemon/phylomon twist of collecting all sorts while attaining some understanding of biodiversity among the species. I guess the game could evolve through natural selection and strategic game play (based on a number of parameters – again set out in rules; similar to D&D), and a leaderboard could be struck up.

    • Yes, I think it would be very hard to attract kids (or my) attention without there being some kind of adverserial aspect. That was what made the Pokemon games so cool, you did all the collecting and learned all the moves specifically so you could beat other people! You’re right as well that the DnD appeal, of having rules but also leaving scenarios etc up to the imagination, is a good idea.

      It would be cool if you could reach a point where kids defined themselves and learned a lot about particular ‘themes’ of animals/plants; in Pokemon/DnD/Magic quite often players gravitate towards a certain class, and there could be so many ‘themes’ in the ‘real’ version.

      Dibs on carnivorous plants!


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