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Suburbacology is made up of two games: Neko Hanshoku and Animal House. Both games address human interaction with suburban wildlife and how humans are often the cause of any problems that arise. Neko Hanshoku looks at feral and free-roaming cats that have become an invasive species fueled by people. Animal House portrays a world where humans and animals have switched roles to show how violent pest removal is. Both games are considered "unwinnable" because there is no happy ending; this makes the message more impactful and forces the player to come to terms with the reality of the situation. Suburbacology makes the player see the direct impact of their actions without giving them the option to fix the problem. Research for this project shed light on how inhumane treatment of animals is considered "humane" because details are often left out of the extermination description. Humans decided the hierarchy of life importance—where humans are on top—and because of this many people feel certain animal lives are more important than others, or not important at all. Most animals only exist in the suburbs because of the free food and shelter provided by humans, but once animals that are not desirable start appearing, they are the pests. There are no easy solutions to these problems, and the answers will look different for each suburb, but there are answers available. Co-existing peacefully with animals is an option if people take the time to understand them a bit better. The goal of this thesis is to make people consider alternative ways of handling animals in suburban areas, rather than the inhumane methods commonly practiced under the guise of pest control.



Fine Arts