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Results of Poll 11: Public Spaces

I Spy... Videogame Animals

Since I will be away for a few weeks, here is a minigame to keep you amused in the interim!

Below are twenty three different animals that might be spotted in videogames. To score points, simply post comments saying which of these animals you have seen in which games.


  • 2 points for the first person to spot each of these animals in a videogame, but only if their sighting is also the first to be verified
  • 1 point for the first two people to verify a sighting that scores

So, for instance, if you have seen a marmot in Metal Gear Solid (say) you get 2 points if and only if at least one other person confirms this sighting before anyone else verifies a sighting in another game. At least half of the animals listed are things I have personally seen in videogames, and some are easier to find than others, but I'm categorically not guaranteeing that everything in this list can be spotted!

All videogames count, including adaptations of board and card games, arcade games and even trivia DVDs (provided you can get that all important verification!) Publishing your own gamelet featuring a particular animal is fair game, but only if you post a link to it here so everyone can see it. For the purposes of scoring, verification of sightings will trump taxonomic accuracy provided there are no competing claims, so some creative explanations can turn into points if you persuade anyone with your tortured logic!

Winner is the person with the highest score when I close the minigame later this month. I'm not offering a formal prize, but I might let the top scorer pick something from the ihobo "surplus stock" cupboard provided getting the winner's postal address isn't a Herculean effort!

Here's the list of animals to search for!

I Spy...

  1. Arctic Hare
  2. Pomeranian Dog
  3. Giant Squid
  4. Kiwi
  5. Norwegian Lobster
  6. Indian Elephant
  7. Rhamphorhynchus
  8. Echidna
  9. Mole Cricket
  10. Marmot
  11. Baiji (Yangtze River Dolphin)
  12. Osprey 
  13. Hallucigenia
  14. Wombat
  15. Chameleon
  16. Arapaima
  17. Styracosaur
  18. Pangolin
  19. Lynx
  20. Emu
  21. Goliath Beetle
  22. Capybara
  23. Marine Iguana

Good luck!

Rules Update (6 November 08)

The verification rule works as follows: no points are scored until a sighting in a particular videogame is verified by another player. So if there are competing claims, the first game to be verified scores, irrespective of which was first mentioned. The other game scores nothing.

However, if you get a verification which is taxonomically inaccurate (as judged by me) and someone comes back with an accurate sighting that is verified, the accurate sighting gets the points. So spurious logic only scores if no-one comes back and beats you on the facts.

Game Over!

This minigame is concluded. You can see the results here.


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Wow... that's awfully specific.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time contains grotesquely oversized goliath beetles.

On a slightly subversive note, I note that there's no penalties for guessing. Under the current rules, I could submit a thousand guesses and hopefully (by law of averages) score some big points. Maybe there could be, say, a 1-point penalty for 5 incorrect guesses? Or something?

I'm also scratching my head over 'Publishing your own gamelet featuring a particular animal is fair game, but only if you post a link to it here so everyone can see it.'

Does this really mean I could make a 20-minute platformer featuring images of all the animals in the bg and score the points, provided someone verifies it?

Mog in Final Fantasy 6 could dance, calling forth the powers of an Arctic Hare to restore all HP.


Nintendogs: Chihuahua and Friends

I think that's a pomerian dog in the top-middle.
Rolo to the Rescue: MD. Featuring an Indian elephant.

I never owned this game, but it was one of many games I read reviews about and always wanted.

Echidna: I nominate Sonic & Knuckles for old-school value.

What happens if I nominate 2 games? I'm still unclear on the rules - if someone else nominates 'Sonic Adventure' as it features Knuckles' tribe and that gets more verifications, does that mean I don't get the points?

I'm probably taking this too seriously, but I also nominate 'Sonic and Knuckles'.

A huge chameleon is a (mini)boss in Kingdom Hearts (PS2).

I verify Sonic & Knuckles for the echidna.

Arctic Hare was one of the playable characters in Silicon Valley, as was Indian Elephant.

Espio from Knuckles Chaotix was a chameleon.

There was a Rhamphorhynchus in the BBC's PC game, Dinosaur World. It could be seen in the desert area.

I know that Capybara is a portable games console developer, but I don't know if there's a capybara in any of their games.

There's a giant squid in Endless Ocean, as I recall. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the baiji is in there too.

The main character in the DS game titled New Zealand Story Revoltion is, I understand, a kiwi. There are lots of DS games with animal characters with big eyes in human clothes.

There's an osprey of sorts in Battlefield 2. It's.. a plane.

There's a free RPG for the PC known as Hallucinogenia, but it's set in the 9th century.

There are plenty of styracosaurs in Starfox Adventures, and in Turok 3.

I'm annoyed I didn't get Chaotix or New Zealand Story. Verifying both of those.

Magic: Online (the PC version of Magic: the Gathering) has a rabid wombat card.

Spore can contain Hallucigenia.

Animal Crossing contains Arapaima.

I assume you meant Styracosaurus? I think they are featured in the budget game 'Raptor Safari'.

I would imagine that the War Elephant units that the Indian civilization gets in Civ 3 are, in fact, comprised of Indian elephants.

Re: Kiwi. (This is a pet topic of mine) It's debatable whether the New Zealand Story features a Kiwi. The player character looks more like a Chicken. (Oh, and New Zealand is not full of spikes, bears or boomerangs)

To right this offense against Kiwis everywhere, we're doing a Tribute to the game for the Retro Remakes Competition that features a real Kiwi as the hero.

I'll verify Wombat in Magic: Online (the PC version of Magic: the Gathering).

I think I play too much generic fantasy to find real animals. Stupid not remembering the scenery thwarting me!

Greetings crazy players of this insane minigame! :)

I won't be scoring anyone until the end of the month, but a few quick comments...

- Remember you need the verifications to score, and also remember that you can pick up easy points by verifying other people's sightings. Right now, it looks like we have multiple candidates for the Indian Elephant points, but no scorers! (And no-one even has the game I was thinking of!)
- Because of the verification rule, Bezman's concerns about guesses are probably unfounded - whose going to verify all your wild guesses? If it's no-one, you get no points (and if you annoy everyone with your guesses, you certainly won't get verifications!) However, I will ask politely that you don't spam up the comments with too many wild guesses! :)
- Bezman asks "What happens if I nominate 2 games? If someone else nominates 'Sonic Adventure' as it features Knuckles' tribe and that gets more verifications, does that mean I don't get the points?"
My answer: It's not about the *number* of verifications, it's about the *first* game to get the verification! Whichever game is verified first scores (except in the case of a competing claim with greater taxonomic accuracy). I've updated the rules accordingly.
- Bezman also asks: "Does this really mean I could make a 20-minute platformer featuring images of all the animals in the background and score the points, provided someone verifies it?"
My answer: Oh yes! Absolutely. This is precisely the kind of nonsense I'm talking about! But of course, you only score for those animals not verified before your gamelet sightings are verified! Not to mention: if you do *all* the animals, people might dislike you for it and purposefully not verify you. Players are funny like that! :) The real question here has to be: how long would it take you to make the game, and how many points would be off the table (i.e. already scored from verifications) by the time you posted it... Oh, and if you made such a game that had sprites for each of the animals it would be way, way cooler! In fact - I'll offer a bonus prize for anyone insane enough to do this, provided the gamelet isn't atrociously rubbish, and subject to the caveat about getting their postal address not being a nightmare.
- I chose the Pomeranian precisely because it *wasn't* in Nintendogs, at least according to my sources.
- Endless Ocean is a salt-water game... although some liberties were taken, there's no baiji (a freshwater dolphin) in this game that I know of.
- Raving Wombat in videogames of M:TG was precisely what I was thinking when I wrote wombat. :) But it's in at least one other game too. However, these points have already been scored since this sighting was verified, and there's no question of dubious taxonomy.
- Styracosaur versus Styracosaurus. Okay, this one requires some pedantic explanation. "Styracosaurus" is a genus - there are multiple animal species under this term. In these situations, common usage allows for us to drop the "-us" suffice, which denotes singularity. Hence "Tyrannosaurus Rex" is a species, but "Tyrannosaur" refers to a collection of animals. I said "Styracosaur" to allow for any ceratopsian dinosaur of the genus "Styracosaurus". *Phew*

Alright, if you have any more rules queries you'd better get them into me soon as tomorrow is my last blogging day for a month!

Oh, and those of you looking for easy points - plenty of sightings in the comments above just *waiting* for you to verify them! :)

Have fun, and play friendly!

Are there any special rules involving new faces? Otherwise, I could ask one of my friends to make a post here, verifying whatever I've posted...

I assume there's some rule of conduct?

Also unlikely to be an issue, whilst I'm exploring the outer limits (G G# G E) let me ask: are you relying mainly on verification to also verify that the game is - in fact - a videogame? Do video-boardgames count? (The old ones where you played a board game, whilst the video occasionally shouted out special events or whatever.) Calculator-based games?

Bezman: I can't make a rule preventing you from bringing in someone new to verify, but really, this is just for fun... this shouldn't be so important as to need nefarious deeds, surely?

Remember, there's not a formal prize for this - I *might* offer a prize to the winner, but if I feel that people haven't entered into this in a spirit of fun then I certainly won't offer a prize.

The stuff in the ihobo surplus stock cupboard is not so exciting as to be worth fighting over, I assure you! :) All the good stuff was given away *years* ago!

And yes, I am relying on verification to confirm that something is a videogame. But if I feel that some line of fair gamesmanship has been crossed, I shall simply exclude the relevant entries from the scoring.

As I said before, spurious logic is fair game - if you can persuade someone to follow you!

Good luck!

Maybe I am slightly obsessive about having definite rules in everything. Perhaps a symptom of having thought about them for most of my life...

Previous posts were half-in-jest, entirely in-love.

I'll also verify the Indian Elephant in Civ 3, I completely agree with that reasoning.

I'll also verify the Civ 3 Indian Elephant. Probably one of the more common animals on your list.

I'm sorry. I honestly didn't mean to take all the fun out of this game with my rules-lawyering.

I keep meaning to come back to this on the weekend and have a good look, but I haven't yet. I'm really interested to see what I can find!

Bez: 'no harm no foul' as far as I'm concerned. :)

Two days left for any additional scoring! Anyone got any extra ideas?

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