Skills and Ideas Taught: Proof that changing environmental circumstances affect living populations through nature selection.
Goal or Challenge: High score.
Primary Audience: Game is targeted at 6 – 18 year olds (from elementary school to high school). Evolution and natural selection are taught at different levels of complexity through elementary and high school biology courses and the game applies at all levels.
Assessment Approach: It is measured post game in the classroom or through post play interviews in public spaces like museums and science centers. In addition, different mentors are presented randomly and players are asked age and gender (no other information). A statistical analysis is being performed by Michigan State University researchers to see if there are links between the age/gender of the player and the gender of the mentor (an on screen non-playing character). Data is captured automatically by the game at the site level and sent to MSU.
Description: Hungry Birds is a fast-paced game where the player is a bird flying through a forest and has to eat as many moths as possible in 60 seconds. Flight path is automated, players focus on touching moths resting on trees. Half way through the game, the trees turn dark (pollution) and suddenly it easier to see the white moths. At the end of the game players see how the pressure to compete (get a high score) forced them to go after the easier-to-see moths, thereby changing the population mix – a demonstration of how natural selection works.
Game Engine: Sandstone by Muzzy Lane
Operating System: Windows 7,Windows 8
Platform: Personal Computer
Special Hardware: Touchscreen