An enthralling video game with tools that you can apply to your hunting adventures out in the field?

That sounds like a win/win for Montana hunters who would like to improve their hunting skills. And it got the attention of the  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation along with the Boone and Crockett Club here in Missoula.

UM News Service tells us that University of Montana student Aidan Sweet was the driving force behind the concept, as he hopped off his ATV, choose a rifle and range finder, then walked a game trail in search of an elk.

He did all of all while standing in a room at UM's Media Arts Expo last spring. The virtual reality headset took him to a digital hunting ground.

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Aidan and fellow students from UM Game Design and Interactive Media created the hunting simulation tool that will be used to teach new hunters at UM and other university classrooms. Sweet was quoted as saying, “We wanted to develop a project where we can teach people safety and all the different facts about hunting, while keeping it fun within that 3D world.”

The game design students were hired through a grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, as part of a larger collaborative effort to support hunting-based curriculum at UM. RMEF has contributed about $300,000 to back educational hunting programs at the university, which includes their Wild Sustenance Course that provides campus and field instruction at the Boone and Crockett Club’s 6,500-acre Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch in Dupuyer.

Near-future plans are to unveil the second level of the tool at the Fall Media Arts Expo in December. Congratulations to these students, applying high tech to assist fellow hunters in the pursuit of game.

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