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Playing Cricket-Tales at the Eden Project

Do crickets have personalities?

Do some crickets like to get up early, while others prefer staying up late?

This is just one of the questions you can help to answer by playing a new online game created by scientists at the University of Exeter in collaboration with FoAM Kernow.

Players of Cricket-Tales see real footage of wild crickets and click to say what they’re doing, helping researchers catalogue a mass of data on the insects.

This will help unravel the mysteries of cricket “personalities”, as well as revealing how they might cope as our climate changes.

As well as being available online, the game has just been installed at the Eden Project, so visitors there can also take part.

And in a bid to recruit players globally the game is available in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

“You can play Cricket-Tales in just a few minutes, and every time you do it helps us build a picture of how insects behave,” said Professor Tom Tregenza, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“We aim to use the data the public collects to tackle questions about how much flexibility animals have to cope with changes in their environments.”

After watching a few videos, players are the very first to see the personalities of their crickets emerge, before the researchers even see the results.

This project was funded by NERC. 

Date: 2 April 2019