From the West Briton:
ONE of Cornwall's mythical creatures has been brought to life in a computer game which is being sold all over the world.
The Owlman Of Mawnan Smith, an adventure game released last month by local developer Steve Parkes, features other characters from Cornish folklore, including piskies and mine knockers, as well as the Owlman itself.
The myth of the Owlman is based on reported sightings of a huge flying creature near Mawnan Church in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties.
All the artwork in the game is based on pictures taken around Cornwall, mostly from Mawnan woods and the Falmouth area. The menu screen is also based on a picture of the gates of Tehidy Park, near Camborne.
The adventure game is for sale on iTunes, Amazon app store and Android, and has occupied a spot in the top 100 games in the UK on Amazon since its launch in mid-December. It has also ranked in the top 50 as far away as New Zealand.
Mr Parkes, a full-time, self-taught developer, has made 17 apps, but this game was a change of direction for him. "I love the folklore and history of Cornwall," he said. "It's such an evocative place. "A lot of people make video games but they are set in unreal settings. Cornwall is the perfect setting. "I just want people to know about Cornwall and the scenery and the history. I find it fascinating."
Mr Parkes has put all his other projects aside to focus on this and subsequent games in the coming series. "It's great," he said. "It is my most successful game yet. I am really happy with it. "It has also spurred me on to make a series of them."
The Owlman is generally believed to have been a hoax, although some people remain convinced that a large and mysterious winged creature did visit the village of Mawnan for a short time in 1976.
The first sighting in 1976 described the beast as "half-man, half-owl". Subsequent sightings were reported in 1989 and 1995. Others believe the sightings were of an escaped eagle owl, a species which can grow more than two feet long.
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