Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

An Endangered Adventure

blog isopodNew educational iPad game features endangered Santa Cruz species

Curious gamers of all ages can learn about some of Santa Cruz’s endangered critters in a new, educational iPad game titled “Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game.”

Mike Parisi, the owner of Xylem and Pholem LLC, recently released the Isopod iPad app, which synthesizes arcade-quality gameplay and the scientific encyclopedia. His intention, he tells GT, is to inspire in the game’s users a fascination with insects and their relationship to a variety of life science subjects. Designed for gamers and learners ages "10 through 110," Isopod explores 24 scientific topics with a deep focus on the world of entomology and insects.  

Among the species featured in the game’s first level (the Santa Cruz level) are the Ohlone Tiger Beetle and Smith's Blue Butterfly.

Although Parisi designed the game to be fun, he adds that Isopod is not the easiest of games. Isopod's educational strength resides in its knack for taking the player in one layer at a time—primarily focusing on fun, but then expanding out into continuously deeper units of study. “Putting in the effort to gain knowledge makes the experience all that more meaningful,” says Parisi.      

The game contains many levels, all of which illuminate important aspects of the natural world and the issue it faces. Included topics range from endangered species, and how ecosystems are thrown out of whack when elements gets pulled out of the mix; invasive species, and the financial and health difficulties they cause; and beneficial insects, and how they help preserve quality of life. Isopod also carries the theme of how insects are important to medicine and can be used as a potential solution for world hunger issues. One of Parisi’s favorite levels, from a visual perspective, is intently focused on bioluminescence. (“If you dig arthropods and have not witnessed the amazing glowing Motyxia Sequoiae in all its 100-legged beauty, you really haven't seen anything yet,” he enthuses.)

At its heart, Parisi believes the game demonstrates how everything in life is connected, and how biodiversity is a simple measure of ecosystem health.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Picture of Health

Santa Cruz just received a high ranking among California counties. But it may be hiding some of the biggest health dangers facing our area

 

In The Time of Leo: Our Creative Efforts

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Time Capsule

Actors age in real time in audacious, mesmerizing ‘Boyhood’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Maharaja

Chef Didar Singh on Royal Taj’s reincarnation as Maharaja

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

This vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.