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  • CorridorsEngaging Multispecies Entanglements through Infrastructural Play

The members of the symbioses of the Children of Compost, human and nonhuman, travel or depend on associates that travel; corridors are essential to their being. The restoration and care of corridors, of connection, is a central task of the communities; it is how they imagine and practice repair of ruined lands and waters and their critters, human and not.

—Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble1

Generations of jokesters have invented punch lines for the classic setup “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Our own answer, admittedly not a very funny one, is that it probably had no other choice. Clichés have a way of revealing uncomfortable truths—in this case, involving the givenness of human infrastructure (a road) and the uncertain fate of any animal (a chicken) hapless enough to cross it. Yet the situation clearly calls for humor and ingenuity. Jokes included, one might be surprised to find that playful evidence of animal wanderlust has its own considerable history. In the early 1980s, for instance, arcade players helped millions of frogs traverse a busy road and a treacherous river to reach their homes on the other side, in the archetypal crossing game Frogger (fig. 1).2

A few years later, in 1988, while driving across Nebraska to visit relatives, Lynn Matson and his family invented the game Roadkill Bingo, which they advertise as a “unique educational travel game” that has since sold over twenty-five thousand copies and even spawned a [End Page 68] West Coast version.3 Armed with Matson’s game, parents can presumably transform a dull trip on the interstate into a fun—and edifying— adventure, where bored kids in the back seat kill time by noting squashed raccoons, skunks, squirrels, birds, deer, cats, and the mysteriously unknowable but grisly “urk” (fig. 2).

Fig. 1. Navigating across a busy road in Konami’s Frogger (1981). Author screenshot.
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Fig. 1.

Navigating across a busy road in Konami’s Frogger (1981). Author screenshot.

Meanwhile, since the turn of the millennium, Nintendo has had enormous success with its Animal Crossing series (originally “animal forest” or Dōbutsu no Mori, どうぶつの森), which, despite its English [End Page 69] name, is less a story of animals unlucky enough to travel in human-modified domains than a cheery community simulator populated by anthropomorphic animal villagers. Flattened countless times on televisions, the dual screens of Nintendo’s DS handheld gaming systems, and most recently the capacitive touchscreens of mobile phones,4 the non-human citizens of Animal Crossing have been revealed as mere window dressing over the game’s underlying logics of consumerism and capital accumulation.5

Fig. 2. Roadkill Bingo’s West Coast version. ®The Creative Creations Company, 1988.
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Fig. 2.

Roadkill Bingo’s West Coast version. ®The Creative Creations Company, 1988.

[End Page 70]

Decades on from Matson’s fateful midwestern road trip and the first Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo 64, actual habitat fragmentation due to human settlement and activity has only grown more pronounced, and estimates of animal casualties can be hard to fathom. In 2005 High Country News estimated that approximately one million vertebrates were run over each day in the United States, which works out to a discouraging rate of one road death every 11.5 seconds.6 The Federal Highway Administration also reported to Congress in August 2008 that some one to two million collisions between cars and large animals occur every year in the United States.7 While insurance companies and state and local agencies tend to focus on these accidents in terms of human injuries and fatalities and costs associated with vehicle damage (by some estimates, upward of one billion dollars a year), clearly the price paid in both human and animal life continues to be tremendous.

Fortunately, there are many ways to imagine alternatives to the existing paradigm in which human mobility and safety are held as paramount while animal death and dislocation are unfortunate but tolerable consequences. Our hope was to create our own playful spin on games like Frogger, Roadkill Bingo, and Animal Crossing, one where human-animal encounters are inevitable and strangely challenging, rather than statistical externalities to the smooth functioning of human systems. The result is Corridors, a modest, Unity web game that embodies simple principles of animal behavior and environmental design, as well as an ethical stance inspired by what Donna Haraway has called “multispecies flourishing” and what Ursula Heise refers to as “multispecies justice.”8 The game’s name comes from the term “wildlife corridors,” sometimes called animal corridors, habitat corridors, greenways, or ecoducts (in the Netherlands).9 As lionized by Haraway in the Camille stories of symbiogenetic human-animal futures with which we began, corridors are attempts to connect animal and plant populations separated by human activities and infrastructures like logging, homebuilding, roadbuilding, and damming. Sometimes dispiritingly classified as part of the toolkit of wildlife—or more generally, environmental mitigation techniques—in which government entities or real estate developers try to offset negative impacts on lands and species by performing additional construction, corridors often do take built form as tunnels, bridges, canals, and so forth, but they can also be natural passageways, defined less by what one adds than by what [End Page 71] one refuses to take away, such as continuous forests, linked wetlands, areas of darkness, and silence.

Infrastructural Play

Although this essay briefly gestures toward emerging areas of scholarship with which to better understand a project like Corridors, it is less a traditional academic treatise than a reflection on the challenges and successes of our creative process and a preface to what we might label as infrastructural play. Already, players of most simulation-style games, like SimCity (1989) or Zoo Tycoon (2001), engage in a kind of infrastructural play. After all, they are given broad powers to terraform, build, customize, and even destroy, all with relative impunity. Our version of infrastructural play, however, is pointedly nonheroic, patterned more on de Certeauian tactics of repurposing or learning to maneuver in and around indifferent or outright hostile organizational arrangements. In part, this was because we did not possess the resources or skill sets of a major game studio, but for us the minimalism of gameplay in Corridors also accurately suggests that we must learn to make do while making kin, first at the level of practices and only later in more systemic ways via policies and planning.

Of direct relevance to our project is the small but lively field of academic game studies, which has important roots in the twentieth century but has burgeoned in the twenty-first. Researchers, many from social science and design backgrounds, have already laid ample groundwork for the educational and prosocial potentials of game-based learning and activity; among them are James Paul Gee, Constance Steinkuehler, Mizuki Ito, Henry Jenkins, Katie Salen Tekinbaş, and Jane McGonigal.10 At the same time, scholarly writing on so-called serious games, news games, games for change, and indie games has multiplied alongside a maturing range of developer and player interests. However, until quite recently, only a few thinkers have embraced an ecocritical perspective on games, likely because games, particularly digital ones, appear frivolously antithetical to the solemn investments of the environmentally minded. But to neglect games within ecomedia studies’ growing ambit would be to grossly understate the range of environmental mediation available to us today, as game worlds and mechanics offer some of the [End Page 72] most recognizable environmental allegories in modern popular culture, with players today tasked with everything from farming and civilization building to spacefaring and survival in postapocalyptic times.

Environmental concerns tend to haunt the edges of video game scholarship, for those willing to read between the lines, as in any discussion of game worlds—for instance, Michael Nitsche’s book on game space and Mark Wolf ’s essay on worlds in The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies.11 Ian Bogost, a video game designer and theorist as well as a philosopher in the object-oriented vein, acknowledged the potential for environmental procedural rhetoric in Persuasive Games and more recently included a chapter on relaxation through Zen gardening techniques in How to Do Things with Videogames.12 In just the last handful of years, however, environmental standpoints have moved from peripheral mention to centering investigation within a fledgling niche of game and media scholarship, as demonstrated in the recent Ecozon@ special issue on “green computer and video games,” coedited by John Parham and Alenda Chang.13 Colin Milburn’s essay on green gaming in The Anticipation of Catastrophe deserves to be read more widely, as it offers a typology of environmental gameplay modes ranging from games of environmental discipline and control to those of environmental responsibility.14 And there is a growing body of work on the political economy of games, including James Newman’s Best Before, Raiford Guins’s Game After, and Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter’s Games of Empire.15

Valuable environmental perspectives on games can also be found from outside the pale of game studies, for instance from literature and materially minded film and media studies,16 including contemporary work on docugames and critical infrastructure studies. For Paul Edwards, Geoff Bowker, Steven Jackson, and Robin Williams, the word infrastructure “often (but not always) connotes big, durable, well-functioning systems and services,”17 while in Lisa Parks’s theory of media infrastructures, she reminds us that engineers colloquially describe infrastructural components as the “stuff you can kick.”18 In many ways, Corridors toys with the question of what it would take to get to what Edwards et al. term “genuine infrastructure: robust, reliable, widely accessible systems and services”—in this case, for both humans and nonhumans.19 Is our current anthropocentric infrastructure [End Page 73] less realized than promissory, or what they poetically brand an “infrastructure-in-waiting”?

Our hope with Corridors is to communicate not only the tragedy of habitat fragmentation, which makes plant and animal populations more vulnerable to genetic inbreeding, natural disaster, predation, and even extinction, but also the relatively inexpensive benefits of considering wildlife mitigation after (but preferably before) constructing new roads and subdivisions. To give just one example, High Country News notes that desert tortoise roadkill was reduced by 93 percent after fencing and culverts were installed on one fifteen-mile stretch of the Mojave Desert highway. Corridors encourages us to ask questions like, What are the barriers to animal migration and movement? How do we modify human infrastructure—towns, lights, roads, and so on—so that other species can coexist with us, migrate, and mate? What are the many fronts on which we need to alter our thinking and practices, in order to ensure a more equitable multispecies future, from media representation to roadside engineering to ongoing legislation, like the recent H.R. 6448 bill (Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2016), introduced by Rep. Donald Beyer of Virginia in December 2016 but discarded at the close of the 114th Congress in early 2017? The bill would have established a National Wildlife Corridors System “to provide for the protection and restoration of native fish, wildlife, and plant species and their habitats in the United States that have been diminished by habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation, and obstructions, and for other purposes.”20

The venerable British naturalist and documentarian Sir David Attenborough recently opined, in his opening remarks at a conference organized by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, “Whereas we thought in 1945 that the way we were going to solve the problems about the natural world was to create wildlife conservation areas, national parks, nature reserves, we now know that is not enough. . . . We now know that the whole of the countryside and indeed the whole of the urban landscape is available for wildlife, and we should make it more welcoming for wildlife.”21 Attenborough goes on to call for making our “suburban gardens,” “roadside verges,” and “meadowlands” more accessible to wildlife, for “we ought to be giving thought to the wildlife corridors that we can provide to make sure that animals, plants can in fact, mate, migrate.” Like Attenborough, a great deal of canonical nature writing, and current scholarship on nature’s resiliency, Corridors [End Page 74] performs a localized attention to interstitial spaces and forgotten plots, both literal and figural. Our game’s landscapes are decidedly not part of a “half-Earth” liberated from humankind and more closely resemble the roadside ditches that Mexican scientists plunder for ethically unencumbered plant species in Cori Hayden’s When Nature Goes Public, the homey backyards and happily neglected roadside “oases” filled with wildflowers evoked by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring, or the obscure corner of a Wisconsin cemetery where Aldo Leopold discovered an errant silphium in The Sand County Almanac (a floral relic of the native prairie supposed to have been stamped out by human settlement).22 Like Leopold, we may discover surprising earthly riches in these liminal “idle spots.”23

As critical momentum builds behind the geological framing of the Anthropocene and as others willingly cede the existence of nature and pristine wilderness in favor of Earth as a “rambunctious garden,”24 reimagining these zones of contact between the human and more-than-human is one step toward a more enlightened understanding of the collateral impacts of our species. While these matters are in some respects deadly serious, we cling to the value of play even in dire times. Perhaps Corridors is best treated as what Nicole Seymour has dubbed “irreverent ecocriticism,” a kind of offbeat or even heretical affect in the face of ecological calamity.25 Or put another way, when a chicken crosses a road, maybe it, like us, is just trying its hardest to keep going (fig. 3), by any means possible.

Technical Walk-Through

Corridors was developed with the Unity platform, versions 5.6 to 2017.3.0f3. Our initial vision for the game was as a 2D-puzzle, tile-based game, a cross between LucasArt’s 1991 Pipe Dream (fig. 4) and Konami’s Frogger (fig. 1). However, given our lead programmer’s previous experience with Unity, the game quickly transformed into something less aesthetically abstract. Notably, Unity provides little more than an empty space and its own physics and graphics engine. It is almost impossible to develop games through Unity without also turning to a variety of external programs. For us, these included Rhinoceros 5.0 for modeling, Autodesk MAYA for animation, and Audacity for filtering and fine-tuning [End Page 75] open-source sound files downloaded from FreeSound (

Fig. 3. Dangers abound for the animal cast of Crossy Road (Hipster Whale, 2014). Author Screenshot.
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Fig. 3.

Dangers abound for the animal cast of Crossy Road (Hipster Whale, 2014). Author Screenshot.

Fig. 4. LucasArt’s 1991 Pipe Dream. Author screenshot.
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Fig. 4.

LucasArt’s 1991 Pipe Dream. Author screenshot.

Our greatest challenge was how to translate animal behavior patterns into the language of computers. Programming languages within game engines (for us, C#) are based on mathematics and physics and are not ideal for expressing biological movements. Thus, the motions of the animals in all five levels were drawn using Rhinoceros. They were then delivered as surface forms to Autodesk MAYA, where they were combined with skeletons to simulate natural movement. (In order to create realistic animal movement, our lead developer found himself watching various animal videos online.) In the case of level 3’s bear, with each frame, every part of its body is adjusting its position and angle in tiny increments. We were able to get a complete, smooth walking movement after saving hundreds of movements for just a few seconds. The following animation runs at twenty-four frames per second to make the movement seem natural and efficient (fig. 5).

As is typical with most game [End Page 76] development, design was an iterative process with constant cycling between brainstorming, prototyping, testing, refining, and optimizing for stability. While work often began with scientific research on the animal species in question, the next steps were to match the contextual representations that we wanted to express in the game with an enjoyable and motivating player experience. For practical purposes, we restricted ourselves to only a handful of levels to start. While the creatures currently featured in the game were selected somewhat at random, in order to showcase a range not only of wildlife mitigation techniques but also of animal behaviors, in theory the game is expandable and more importantly localizable, in the sense that educators or players could opt to download or create levels that conform to the animal crossings encountered in their own neighborhoods or regions. Perhaps surprisingly, the player perspective is also purposefully human centered, in that the game asks us to imagine what we can do to alter our own habits and constructions rather than defying animal instinct.

Fig. 5. Animating a bear’s walking movement in Unity. Author screenshot.
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Fig. 5.

Animating a bear’s walking movement in Unity. Author screenshot.

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Fig. 6. A nonplayer character who wanders the beach with a flashlight in level 1. Author screenshot.
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Fig. 6.

A nonplayer character who wanders the beach with a flashlight in level 1. Author screenshot.

The following are brief descriptions of each game level, or vignette, and some technical considerations for each one.

Level 1: “Better Off”

The first level of Corridors features baby loggerhead turtles hatching somewhere on the inhabited coast of the South Carolina barrier islands. Taking place at night, it depicts the turtles’ unfortunate exposure to artificial lighting—streetlights, house lights, fires and flashlights on the beach, and even ambient sky glow from cities. When baby loggerheads encounter artificial lighting, they may be confused into heading away from the ocean, what biologists term “disorientation events,” resulting in dehydration and death.26

In the game, the turtles hatch at designated nest locations at random intervals and move toward the nearest light sources. Ideally, players would turn off all artificial light sources so that the turtles can proceed safely to the moonlit ocean. Each house and street lamp is a light source, and these lights have spherical physical areas that detect collisions with turtles. Each light can be turned on and off by the player, except for one randomly moving character, whose flashlight’s beam is inversely proportional to the number of houses and streets lit (fig. 6). [End Page 78] Crucially, the turtles are programmed to respond sensitively to the artificial light sources in the level. When a turtle encounters artificial light, the algorithm slows its speed down. When the speed of the turtle drops under a certain threshold, the turtle’s motion animation stops, mimicking real-world disorientation. The level is considered complete when a player enables fifty baby loggerheads to reach the water.

Level 2: “Helping Hands”

The second level takes place during the famed annual migration of the Christmas Island red crab in Christmas Island National Park, Australia. As in their actual home, the primary artificial threat to the crabs during migration is vehicular traffic, and this level simulates both the temporary fencing and direct intervention via raking deployed by park rangers and volunteers every year. Crabs are randomly generated and move at a constant speed across the screen. Vehicles periodically cycle through the scene at different speeds, and if they encounter any crabs, the crabs are crushed to death. Players can use their mouse pointer (transformed for this level into a rake) to pick up or sweep crabs out of the road and closer to safety.27

Level 3: “Charismatic Crossings”

The background of the third level is Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, both because the park has been at the forefront of developing wildlife mitigation techniques and also because Banff ’s large animals are a reminder that many species have massive ranges and little respect for human-imposed boundaries. Our lead developer began with an actual terrain model from Google Earth and then tried to give the scene a true forest ambiance by “planting” lots of virtual trees. Players steer a bear who can cross either over or under the Trans-Canada Highway in order to find food (avoiding a truck that periodically moves along the road, as in level 2). Food in the form of berry bushes is automatically generated once every three seconds within the level, which also attracts a faster-moving competitor—here, a deer (fig. 7). For this level, our developer was in part inspired by the herb-collecting mechanic found in the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft (Activision [End Page 79] Blizzard, 2005–). The player’s goal is to find and consume ten berry bushes in order to progress to the next level.28

Fig. 7. Bear, deer, berries, and truck from level 3. Author screenshot.
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Fig. 7.

Bear, deer, berries, and truck from level 3. Author screenshot.

Level 4: “Leafy Islands”

In many ways, level 4 presented the most difficulty, as it is almost a tile-based simulation subgame with creature artificial intelligence. Conceptually, the level is meant to grapple with what scientists term the SLOSS (single large or several small) debate—namely, whether nature reserves are best designed as one large area or multiple smaller but connected areas. Initially, we wanted this level to engage the SLOSS debate as well as studies on the variable impacts of area-perimeter ratio and edge effects on species, but implementation proved more difficult than expected. To narrow our focus, we took as a model one study from the 1980s on bird populations in eastern Tennessee, which found that some species, like ovenbirds, are extremely sensitive to edge effects and thus are only found in deep forest, while others, like the towhee and the cardinal, may even benefit from forest edges—in this case, those created by clearing around power lines.29

The level space is divided into forty-nine independent zones seeded with various trees. Each zone checks the number of trees in its area in [End Page 80] real time, as well as the number of trees in its surrounding area. Tree density is then reflected in the color of each block—the darker the color, the more trees surround it. The player may place up to five houses and must choose between houses with numerous trees on the lot and houses featuring only hardscape. When a player builds a house in a selected area, the native trees in that area are destroyed. If a house with numerous trees is placed, the density of trees in that section will likely increase, while in the other case, it will clearly drop.

Fig. 8. Encoding the impact of vegetation density on bird numbers in level 4. Author screenshot.
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Fig. 8.

Encoding the impact of vegetation density on bird numbers in level 4. Author screenshot.

In terms of creature behavior, our developer used a flocking algorithm developed by the YouTube user Holistic3D. The birds move randomly in groups within a predetermined area. However, the flock [End Page 81] will move to the highest forest-density point in the area when a player builds a house. In general, we wanted our code to reflect the characteristics of birds that go deeper into the forest to avoid human habitation. Originally, we created five kinds of birds and tried to give them different preferences (for example, preferring to stay in an edge zone). But this ended up being overly complex, so other birds were eventually excluded. During the level, the number of birds changes constantly according to the number of trees in the area in which they stay. The bird population decreases when the number of trees is twenty or less, and it increases when the number of trees is fifty or more (fig. 8). These conditions were not explicitly presented in the game but were made recognizable to the player. The goal is to choose and carefully place only a few homes, those with vegetation that actually promotes ovenbird numbers.

Level 5: “Crepuscular Creatures”

Since deer are arguably the poster animal for wildlife mitigation initiatives, because the vast majority of wildlife-vehicle collisions occur between cars and deer, our final level depicts the stereotypical scenario of an accident at dusk. Unlike the other levels featuring automotive traffic, in this level the player controls the vehicles, although the control is limited to determining the vehicle’s speed. Deer attempt to cross the road throughout the level and also react to the vehicle’s lights by freezing up, as deer often do. The goal is to repeatedly avoid collision.30

Technical Summary

A few final logistical considerations are worth mentioning for those interested in pursuing their own imaginative game projects. First, publishing platform—projects produced in Unity can be built for a variety of user platforms. However, making large game files downloadable can be difficult because of the size of the projects, here exceeding five hundred megabytes. Prior to 2016, Unity had developed its own downloadable web player to help users distribute games online. But the company has recently shifted to using WebGL, so its games can now be executed directly on a web page. This allowed our project to be delivered as a complete web game, simply by uploading a compressed WebGL project to the game site, a favorite of indie game developers. [End Page 82]

Resolution can also be an important factor in determining the quality and speed of one’s game graphics and gameplay. Due to the nature of web play, and in consideration of the lower computer settings of many users, we decided that the resolution for our game should be kept at the minimum specification, which enabled faster gameplay. A third consideration involved pricing. Because we developed Corridors as academic research and outreach, it will be distributed free of charge, but those looking to recoup development costs may need to explore alternative paradigms, like nominal or voluntary fees.

Most importantly, our experience in creating Corridors has been altogether humbling—typically, games known and celebrated by the public are constructed by large teams of programming and design professionals, often over months if not years of work. Corridors took approximately six months to develop (with about eighty hours a month for coding alone), plus an additional three months of debugging, and even now, we recognize that it is far from perfect. That said, we are now in a position to appreciate the invisible work behind our favorite games, and we have learned a tremendous amount about interdisciplinary collaboration, so often given lip service but rarely genuinely attempted. While our lead author long ago wrote games in BASIC and programmed in Turbo Pascal, her primary expertise lie in game studies, science and technology studies, and environmental media; meanwhile, our lead developer was trained in fine art (sculpture), before branching out into robotics and computer-assisted design. We hope our experiment inspires others to translate scientific and environmental debates, as well as their own diverse methodological backgrounds, into playful and computational form.

Corridors may be accessed at the following URL:

Alenda Chang

Alenda Chang is an associate professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), whose research and teaching encompass environmental media, game studies, science and technology studies, and sound studies. Her first book, Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019), develops environmentally informed frameworks for understanding and designing digital games. Chang codirects Wireframe, a UCSB studio that promotes collaborative theoretical and creative media practice, with investments in global social and environmental justice. She is also the founding coeditor of a new University of California Press open-access journal, Media+Environment (


Corridors was created by Alenda Chang and Intae Hwang (lead developer), who received his PhD in 2019 from the media arts and technology program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

1. Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016), 140.

2. Old Classic Retro Gaming, “Arcade Game: Frogger (1981 Konami),” October 7, 2014, video, 13:26,

3. Roadkill Bingo Company, “Information about the Roadkill Bingo® Company,” May 25, 2011, Facebook,

4. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, in which players take on the role of campsite managers for citified animal friends, was released November 22, 2017, for iOS and Android devices.

5. Ian Bogost discusses the “procedural rhetoric” of Animal Crossing in Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007), perhaps best emblematized by the character of Tom Nook, the Japanese raccoon dog who serves as the town’s banker and merchant.

6. Staff, “The Asphalt Graveyard: Roadkill Statistics,” High Country News, February 7, 2005,

7. M. P. Huijser, P. McGowen, J. Fuller, A. Hardy, A. Kociolek, A. P. Clevenger, D. Smith, and R. Ament, Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Reduction Study: Report to Congress, H.R. Rep. No. FHWA-HRT-08-034 (August 2008).

8. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble; Ursula K. Heise, Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).

9. There is an extensive literature on wildlife corridors and ecoducts. We are indebted to the resources provided by the Corridor Design GIS group in Arizona, including Paul Beier, Dan Majka, Shawn Newell, and Emily Garding, “Best Management Practices for Wildlife Corridors” (paper, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, January 2008), Crucially, Beier et al. note that “no single crossing structure will allow all species to cross a road.”

10. See, for example, James Paul Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Katie Salen, ed. The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008); Mizuki Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Becky Herr-Stephenson, Heather A. Horst, et al., Hanging Around, Messing Around, and Geeking Out (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009).

11. See Michael Nitsche, Video Game Spaces: Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008); Mark J. P. Wolf, “Worlds,” in The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies, ed. Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron (New York: Routledge, 2014).

12. See Ian Bogost, Persuasive Games; Ian Bogost, “Relaxation,” chap. 13 in How to Do Things with Videogames (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

13. See also Alenda Y. Chang, “Environmental Remediation,” electronic book review, June 7, 2015,; Alenda Y. Chang, “Back to the Virtual Farm: Gleaning the Agriculture-Management Game,” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 19, no. 2 (2011): 237–52; Alenda Y. Chang, “Games as Environmental Texts,” Qui Parle 19, no. 2 (2011): 56–84.

14. Colin Milburn, “Green Gaming: Video Games and Environmental Risk,” in The Anticipation of Catastrophe: Environmental Risk in North American Literature and Culture, ed. Sylvia Mayer and Alexa Weik von Mossner (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2014).

15. James Newman, Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence (New York: Routledge, 2012); Raiford Guins, Game After: A Cultural Study of Video Game Afterlife (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014); Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter, Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009).

16. See, for instance, Elizabeth Swanstrom, Animal, Vegetable, Digital: Experiments in New Media Aesthetics and Environmental Poetics (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2016); Mark Sample and Mark Marino’s work on critical code studies; John Parham, Green Media and Popular Culture: An Introduction (London: Palgrave, 2016).

17. Paul N. Edwards, Steven J. Jackson, Geoffrey C. Bowker, and Robin Williams, “Introduction: An Agenda for Infrastructure Studies,” Journal of the Association for Information Systems 10, no. 5 (2009): 364–74, 365.

18. Lisa Parks, “Stuff You Can Kick: Toward a Theory of Media Infrastructures,” in Between Humanities and the Digital, ed. Patrik Svensson and David Theo Goldberg (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015), 355–73.

19. Edwards et al., “Introduction,” 366.

20. Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2016, H.R. 6448, 114th Cong. (2015),

21. David Attenborough, “Conference for Nature—Sir David Attenborough,” RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), September 3, 2014, video, 17:07,

22. E. O. Wilson, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016); Cori Hayden, When Nature Goes Public: The Making and Unmaking of Bioprospecting in Mexico (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003); Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962), 71; Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There (New York: Oxford University Press, 1949), 48.

23. Leopold, Sand County Almanac, 48.

24. Emma Marris, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World (New York: Bloomsbury, 2011).

25. Nicole Seymour, “Toward an Irreverent Ecocriticism,” Journal of Ecocriticism 4, no. 2 (July 2012): 56–71.

26. Sources for level 1 included Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles, illustrated by Meilo So (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2016); “Lights Out for Loggerheads,” SC Marine Turtle Conservation Program, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 2013, accessed May 17, 2017,; “Loggerhead Turtle | NOAA Fisheries,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, accessed October 29, 2019,; “Puffin and Petrel Patrol,” Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter, accessed May 24, 2017,; Eric Warrant and Marie Dacke, “Visual Navigation in Nocturnal Insects,” Physiology 31 no. 3 (2016): 182–92,

27. Sources for level 2 included Ann Arnold, “Fazel Chegeni’s Death and the Truth of Our Detention System,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, last updated February 1, 2016,; Christmas Island National Park, “Behind the Scenes of the Red Crab Migration—Christmas Island 2012,” October 2012, posted by ParksAustralia, December 20, 2012, video, 3:47,; Ben Doherty, “A Short History of Nauru, Australia’s Dumping Ground for Refugees,” Guardian, August 10, 2016,; “March of the Red Crabs ǀ Lands of the Monsoon ǀ BBC,” posted by BBC Earth, April 23, 2015, video, 4:02,; “Red Crab Migration,” Christmas Island Tourism Association, accessed May 24, 2017,; “Welcome to Christmas Island Visitor Guide,” Christmas Island National Park and Christmas Island Tourism Association, accessed May 24, 2017,

28. Sources for level 3 included Charis Thompson, “Co-producing CITES and the African Elephant,” in States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order, ed. Sheila Jasanoff (New York: Routledge, 2004), 67–86; “Protecting Bear Zones,” Parks Canada, last modified April 1, 2017,; “The Trans-Canada Highway: Backgrounder,” Transport Canada, last modified April 5, 2017,

29. Sources for level 4 included “About Us,” Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, accessed May 24, 2017,; Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015); Reiko Kurosawa and Robert A. Askins, “Effects of Habitat Fragmentation on Birds in Deciduous Forests in Japan,” Conservation Biology 17, no. 3 (2003): 695– 707,; Roger L. Kroodsma, “Effect of Edge on Breeding Forest Bird Species,” Wilson Bulletin 96, no. 3 (1984): 426–36; Tormod Vaaland Burkey, “Extinction in Nature Reserves: The Effect of Fragmentation and the Importance of Migration between Reserve Fragments,” Oikos 55, no. 1 (1989): 75–81.

30. Sources for level 5 included Bradley F. Blackwell, Thomas W. Seamans, and Travis L. DeVault, “White-Tailed Deer Response to Vehicle Approach: Evidence of Unclear and Present Danger,” PLoS ONE 9, no. 10 (2014): 1–9,; C. Claiborne Ray, “Deer in the Headlights—Science Q&A—The Twilight Zone,” New York Times, November 29, 2010,; “LOOK OUT! Deer Damage Can Be Costly!,” State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Agency, September 19, 2016,

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