Monday, June 22, 2015

Do LEGOs Dream of Electric Dinosaurs?

This Monday was shaping up to be a Monday: administrative duties, extra workload to get ready for the Geopark inaugural events this weekend, and on top of it, general thesis writing freak-out. What I was not expecting this morning was this:

Time for straight-up honesty:

1. I have not yet seen "Jurassic World" (GASP!) From what I have seen of released clips and trailers, I agree with Dr. Victoria Arbour and Dr. Angelica Tories on their assessments of the tired female lead themes in their reviews here and here, respectively. I also agree with their and Dr. Darren Naish's review of the movie-monster style versions of the theropods that could have been so so so much more fun and creepy (our heroes encountering a Velociraptor gently cleaning the blood and tissue of its latest human kill off of its feathers to the gently sounds of the forest, anyone?) I'll see Jurassic World one day soon, but it's likely not going to be until after I defend my doctoral thesis.

2. I do not play video games and did not grow up playing video games. Our idea of a video game was when the Pong machine was hooked up to the TV. After that, we inherited an old Commodore 64 and played "Tanks" and text-based games on the sepia-toned screen. I am not the person to ask technical questions of when it comes to "How can I access X, Y, and Z features?" I don't own a PS-Anything. Dammit Jim, I'm an avian anatomist and ichnologist, not a video game person! (I just finished watching Star Trek TOS.)

All that being said, it was pretty cool to discover that I was LEGOed! LEGO-Lisa even has the right colored field shirt!
Oh yes, I get to use the Parasaurolophus. I'm not sure about flying the helicopter, but in a choice between dinosaur and chopper, the dinosaur wins. Image from Gameslingers at Dawn.
Kris Abel, author of Gameslingers at Dawn, was able to customize some characters for the Jurassic World LEGO game. Kris went for Canadian paleontologists. These characters are available for anyone to play (from what I understand). I'm in good company as I get chased through the park by Indominus rex and her like. Running from (Towards? With? We all know it's either towards or with) the dinosaurs is Philip Currie (University of Alberta) and his theropod pack, as well as David Evans (Royal Ontario Museum) and his ceratopsian troop. Follow the above link for the unlock codes for the characters!

If you play the LEGO video games, you'll have to let me know how LEGO Lisa fares on her adventures with her buddy hadrosaur (we have an unofficial name for the airlifted specimen, but it's too geographically specific, and we are still keeping the site location under wraps for the time being until we can get the proper excavation funding.)

Riding off into the LEGO sunset,

LEGO Strange Woman.


  1. Congratulations, but our Utah paleontologists feel left out.... My grand daughter wants this game bad!

    1. From what I understand of the game, there is opportunity for any player to customize characters and share those characters with others. I'm sure your granddaughter would have a blast LEGOing the Utah team!