When Lego Lisa ruled the world

Trent Ernst, Editor


Surprises on Monday morning are not usually very fun, says Paleontologist Lisa Buckley. But last Monday, she arrived at work to discover that she was a character in the new Lego Jurassic World video game.

Buckley says a couple weeks back, video Canadian tech journalist and video game reviewer Kris Abel sent her a note on Twitter, “He said he could play as Lisa Buckley in the new video game. I know nothing about video games, so I thought you could go in and customize characters and he did it for fun.”

Which is, it turns out, basically what he did. But what she didn’t know is that people can share these customized characters with the rest of the world.

When Abel published his review of the game on Monday at metronews.ca, he released a trio of bonus characters, which people who have played the game for about an hour can use.

The three characters are some of Canada’s best-known paleontologists, including Buckley, the Royal Ontario Museum’s Dave Evans, and the University of Alberta’s Phillip Currie.

Buckley says she’s not a big video gamer, but says it could be tempting to make an exception with this game. “In the picture Kris posted on-line, I’m pictured with a helicopter and a hadrosaur. What I understand is that you can ride the hadrosaur in the game. Maybe I should go polish up my saddle.” She laughs.

Abel says that, when you finish the main story in LEGO Jurassic World, which takes about 14 hours, players are given the option to create their own characters to play with. “Unfortunately, you need to finish the game before you can use the codes,” says Abek. “You can’t just buy the game, turn it on and punch them in. You have to play the game the way Warner Bros designed it first. Then you can alter it.”

Abel says that, included with the game are models for Jimmy Fallon, Steven Speilberg, director Colin Trevorrow. “But no scientists!” says Abel. “So I decided to do a set of Canadian palaeontologists. I wanted a mix that would represent different provinces and both men and women. I know a lot of really cool women who love dinosaurs and play video games, so that’s important. I’ve interviewed Lisa Buckley and follow her on Twitter and know her to be exactly the kind of kick-ass scientist that my friends look up to, so she was an easy choice.”

He says that because Currie was the inspiration, at least partly, for Alan Grant, he was a must have. Finally, he chose Dave Evans. “Evans hails from my city and I’ve had the good fortune of following his impressive research and his career which started remarkably young. So among these three choices you have a very different set of demographics and different life stories to uncover.”

He says that he could only get three done before deadline, but points out: “our country is home to many cool dino experts and in time I might create models for them all.”

Want to play Jurassic World as Buckley? Use unlock code BjBBBCGDXCCKCgBC.