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Ever wondered what the world looks like through the eyes of a butterfly? Computer scientist, Alban Delamarre, and Dr. Jaeson Clayborn from the Department of Biological Sciences, have developed a virtual reality (VR) game dedicated to insect and plant species with a particular focus on imperiled butterflies.

Butterfly World 1.0 educates players while reawakening curiosity and empathy for these species and raising awareness about the importance of ecosystem conservation. Set in the subtropical dry forests of the Florida Keys, Butterfly World draws the players into an immersive virtual environment where they learn about the relationships between butterflies, plants and invasive species.

The scientists told EurekAlert! they believe virtual reality and serious gaming are “the new frontiers in environmental education” and “present a unique opportunity to interact with and learn about different species and ecosystems.” The interactive experience allows people to observe difficult to witness rare butterflies in tropical dry forests, and the effects of invasive species on native wildlife.