"Be the Dinosaur" has several video game simulations, where visitors can "be the dinosaur," at least virtually. For instance, visitors can control a digital triceratops or T-rex and lead them through a day in the life of one of these giant reptiles.
Ferguson said, "The game tells you when you have to eat, when you have to get water and um... well, when to poop." He laughed. "Everybody poops."
The graphics of the game are reasonably life-like and comparable to what is found on an Xbox 360 but with simpler controls. It is fairly tame and appropriate for all ages. There's no gore and all the real violence (hey, a dinosaur's gotta eat) is off screen and implied by chomping sounds.
During the game, little blocks pop up occasionally to give little tidbits of information about the Cretaceous Period, and when the game ends, players are given suggestions to visit other parts of the exhibit for tips on improving their performance.
For smaller visitors, who might not be able to see clearly or manage the controls on the console, there's a safari jeep simulation that will take them on a short trip around a dinosaur habitat.
"Be the Dinosaur" is not all video games and flashy graphics, though.
"We added a lot, too," Ferguson said and pointed to a wall where the outlines of several dinosaurs are painted. Among them is the deadly velociraptor, one of the more vicious thunder lizards featured in the "Jurassic Park" movies.
It seems smaller than the movie version.
Ferguson nodded and said, "They actually based their velociraptors on the Utahraptor."
He's not sure why, although he's still a fan of the movie. Ferguson is a fan of dinosaurs and doesn't think he's the only one.
"Be the Dinosaur" is at the Clay Center through Dec. 31, which Ferguson added is plenty of time for other dino fans to come visit it repeatedly.Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.