Seneca in the News is a collection of media coverage excerpts about Seneca College, its staff, students and alumni.

Computer game lets you monkey around, Ikea style

Seneca professor's game is highlighted in the Toronto Star and on thestar.com on January 10. Similar stories ran in the Bloor West Villager, Toronto Sun and on Torontosun.com, insidetoronto.com and Global Toronto on January 11 and in the Winnipeg Sun on January 13.

Can’t get the “Ikea monkey” off your mind?

Though Darwin’s moment of fame may have passed, those still enamoured by the fashionable primate now have a chance to relive the young monkey’s daring adventure last December in a North York Ikea parking lot, through a computer game produced by a Toronto animator.

“I couldn’t not do it,” said Barnabas Wornoff, 33, a Seneca College animation professor who teamed up with a group of former students to create the game. “We’re just trying to have some fun.”

…The game, which took the animation team about a week to create and went live in late December, is set in an Ikea parking lot and features a shearling coat-wearing monkey tasked with navigating the roadway littered with bananas and obstacles to collect parts for a Billy wall shelf.

Players can control the monkey as it wanders through the parking lot in search of Allen keys, pegs and other parts needed to build the shelf, all the while dodging rogue shopping carts and Ikea customers.

Each player starts with three lives and can collect extra points by picking up shelf parts and bananas. Players lose points if they run into customers, cars or shopping carts, but can clear the obstacles by hurling fistfuls of monkey excrement.

According to Wornoff, a player wins when they successfully collect all the necessary parts to build the wall shelf. He added that the monkey dances when the game is completed…

Since its debut, the computer game’s website has been visited more than 2,000 times — and according to a web tracker set up by the team, Internet users from as far as Florida, Spain and Australia have accessed the site.

As his animated counterpart gains popularity online, the real-life Darwin remains embroiled in a bitter custody battle…

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