A group of teen students from Nepal, called Team Octavian, have created a somewhat controversial video-game depicting the killing of poachers. While some people strongly feel that the act of poaching is heinous and that poachers should be shot, or at least harshly punished, others feel that poaching is a way of life necessary to support and provide for very poor families. However one feels about poaching, it is undisputed that the act of poaching threatens the future existence of certain species of animals. It is this aspect of poaching that the video-game’s creators hope players recognize. The game, entitled Defend Your Territory, is a first-person shooter game where cyborgs from the future go back in time and hunt down and kill poachers. .
The students will compete next week in Seattle, WA in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup. The tournament is a student technology competition and the students are competing in the video-game category. If the student group wins the video-game category, Team Octavian will compete for the overall winner prize of $50,000, which will be handed out by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Defend Your Territory co-creator Alex Rumba told Geek Wired that he and his fellow developers want to educate players of the game that poaching is very serious and that if continued, the world could be in real danger. In an effort to avoid people-on-people killing, the game’s developers chose a cyborg to go back in time to find and shoot poachers. The cyborg comes from the future in a world where the effects of poaching have left the Earth’s ecosystem in a muck. In fact, in the game, Earth is covered by a vast, dusty desert. Rumba stated that he and his friends wanted to “[l]et people know about the rarity and value of wildlife and what may result if the system of nature gets disturbed for selfishness. Every life counts is the logic.”
According to gamers, the game is fun and visually inspiring. The use of high tech graphics allows users the opportunity to experience the game as lifelike as possible. The game is played with one or more users online, and objectives and quests must be met in order for players to move to the next level.
Defend Your Territory has already won three competitions in order to make it to the next level of the Imagine Cup.