If kids can learn 120 Pokémon 'species', why not their local flora and fauna? A study* showed that despite kids' staggering ability to learn to identify fictional critters on gaming cards, they could identify less than 50% of common wildlife. Next week, UBC's Science Creative Quarterly is launching a collaborative, interactive antidote to ignorance of our ecosystem called The Phylomon Project in honour of 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity.
The image is a sort of mock-up of how a Pokémon-type card might look, featuring my 'Vixen in the Snow' lino block print. Since I volunteered my image, you can have a sneak peak at the site and what is planned.
You can find out more about participation at this link** or in the flickr group. So, all you artists, people who care about biodiversity, people with kids, educators, people who like art, people who are kids, and people into gaming (have I got everyone yet?)- check it out!
*Balmford A, Clegg L, Coulson T, Taylor J., Why conservationists should heed Pokémon., Science. 2002 Mar 29;295(5564):2367.
** This includes an email address for comments and feedback to project creator Dave Ng, for anyone with comments and suggestions on gaming. Eventually they will set up a blog to facilitate discussion. They foresee a wiki-like process to determine the biodiversity content, and I suspect everything will come together in a similar community-driven way.