Recruit, Retain and Video Games
This article is an odd one, but a great opportunity for hunters and anglers that honestly gets overlooked. Being avid outdoors people, it may be commonplace to view video games as a hobby to be unproductive or simply a waste of time. Sitting indoors for hours staring at a screen? It is basically the antithesis of our mantra to spend time outdoors. However, hunting and fishing video games it turns out may actually be an excellent way to get the younger generation interested—and keep their interest—in the outdoors.
Hunting and fishing video games have an overlooked history of being authentic and informative. Heck, I can identify a walleye from a rainbow trout thanks to a few too many hours sunk into gaming RPGs (role-playing games) despite never fishing for either. And though hunting is a sport steeped in tradition, it is becoming more apparent that relying on tradition alone to keep the sport alive may not be enough.
For a lot of new hunters, these various simulated experiences may be their intro into hunting. And for some of us, video games can act as a bridge to connect with our loved ones who may show interest in gaming but less so in actually going out in the field.
Hunting video games create a scenario for low-stakes hunter safety conversations. Take popular hunting simulator “Hunt: Call of the Wild.” While impressively realistic in many aspects including tracking and shot accuracy reports, it doesn’t inform the user about tag limits, gun safety, and the importance of hunting in conservation efforts.
As much as we would love those close to us to show sudden interest in joining us on our next venture, it’s safe to say your loved one would be thrilled if you sat down with them to enjoy their past time as well. The developers of Hunt: Call of the Wild host weekly TwitchTV (a site that hosts video game streams) meetings to showcase gameplay and updates. Take the first step in creating conversation with the gamer in your life by watching one together and maybe pick up a controller yourself.
Check out these top three hunting and fishing games to help implement the R3 initiatives in your life:
TheHunter: Classic Edition: “Traverse vast, open-world environments ranging from the desolate Australian outback and overgrown swamps of Louisiana to the dramatic landscape of the Austrian Alps. As a hunter, you will use everything from crossbows to handguns and state-of-the-art bolt action rifles to track, spot and harvest your prey. Realistic animal behaviors and persistent online features provide a living, open world where you can explore at your own pace or compete with other players for bragging rights.” Free to play on Steam.
Legendary Fishing: “An arcade-style casual fishing game. Choose your tackle and hone your skills in 3 different modes. Whether you take up increasingly demanding challenges, you compete with your friends or you just want to relax and find your zen, there is always something to do and plenty of fish waiting for you.” Available to play on Playstation4 and Nintendo Switch
Deer Hunter 2018: “From the creators of Deer Hunter 2014 comes the world’s greatest hunting experience in 2020 that targets your heart and mind: Return to the Wild. Pursue, hunt, repeat. Shoot like a pro in this hunting simulator.” Free to play on mobile devices.