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New game hopes to show millions what mining is like in Canada

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The mining industry is looking to reach a new audience with a game that allows users to dig into a whole new world through the use of just their fingers.

Photo from left to right: Jim Lundrigan, Chair of Science North’s Board of Trustees; Samantha Espley, CIM Past President and Chair of the CIM – Science North Joint Venture Project; Jennifer Beaudry, Senior Manager, Dynamic Earth; Caroline Recollet, Elder with Wahnapitae First Nation; Ashley Larose MSc, Chief Executive Officer – Science North; Paul Lefebvre, Greater Sudbury Mayor; Craig Tyson, Councillor with Wahnapitae First Nation and member of Science North's Northeast Indigenous Advisory Committee. (Supplied/Science North)Recently, stakeholders, VIPs and youths from St. Charles and Lo-Ellen Park high schools gathered at Dynamic Earth for the official launch of the new digital game called ‘Mine Evolution.’

The game is a collaboration between Science North and the Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) and was D&D Skunkworks.

"If it wasn't grown – it was mined," are the first word a player sees when opening the game.

The app invites users to dig into a world of innovation and technology – a world that has fueled northern Ontario’s industry for more than 100 years. It allows players to harness the power of solar, wind and hydro energy to improve their mine and build up the surrounding in-game community.

"It's great that we're able to do this,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre at the launch.

“As our world really becomes more electric and we need the batteries – where's that going to come from – well it comes from the mines here."

In addition to the game itself, Science North has developed complementary bilingual resources for educators to use, including curriculum links, lesson plans and activities.

"So exhibits are a great way to get people engaged with scientific topics but they are reliant on people having a venue,” said Ashley Larose, CEO of science centre.

“So if you do something like a video game then you're really able to expand that access and anyone can download it."

Launching a video game is a first for Science North and Wahnapitae First Nation – who served as Indigenous partners and consultants.

"It is a very important industry that is going to bring the world to the next level with the battery-electric vehicles,” said Wahnapitae Councillor Craig Tyson.

“We just want to be part of it and make sure it's done in an environmentally friendly way, at the same time respecting our territories and the minerals that are coming out of the ground."

Samantha Espley, the chair of the CIM–Science North joint venture, said once the students download the new app, they will discover the reality of mining in Canada.

"This is such an important achievement for the CIM and Canadian mining because as you heard already – it showcases top technology advancements from our CIM leading experts," she said.

Science North CEO Ashley Larose holding a tablet running the digital game created by the science centre and Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum at the launch event on Nov. 9/23. (Supplied/Science North)Mine Evolution is free to play in both English and French – on computers and mobile devices. It can also be downloaded to play without an internet connection.

You can find it online and in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Officials told CTV News this venture help them reach more than a million Canadians.  

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