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Ralph and Vicki in Stereo

Cianciarulos, Shockey featured in Cabela's hunting video game

Cabela Cabela's new video game features Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo, Jim Shockey and Wade Middleton.

By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com

With two sets of parents giving him hunting advice, R.J. Cianciarulo was indeed warranted some game rage. The 13-year-old just wanted to play his new Activision video game, Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts. R.J. had progressed to the hog hunt, featuring his parents, Ralph and Vicki of Archer’s Choice.

“We came in the room and were watching it,” Vicki said. “We start off as avatars and we give the hunter, the player, some tips on how to get Hogzilla. R.J. is trying to get up on Hogzilla, Ralph and I are standing there in the living room, ‘No, no, no, no no. Watch your wind. Watch your wind.’

“R.J. finally goes, ‘Shut Up.’ He’s like, ‘Seriously. I got you on the TV, I don’t need to hear you behind me.’ It was pretty funny.”

The Cianciarulos, Jim Shockey and Wade Middleton lent their pro hunting talents for the game, opening segments of each species' hunt with advice and warnings, then provide tips once the player gets out in the field.

Jim Shockey’s avatar leads you on hunts along with Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo and Wade Middleton in Cabela’s Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts. (Pro Hunts screenshot)

Jim Shockey’s avatar leads you on hunts along with Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo and
Wade Middleton in Cabela’s Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts. (Pro Hunts screenshot)

“We tell him ahead how to get the hog and afterward we congratulate him,” said Ralph, who added he and Vicki also worked on elk and caribou hunts in the game. “We haven’t seen the caribou scene yet because R.J. hasn’t gotten that far.”

Vicki said the game is a rather neat collaboration between Activision and Cabela’s, offering “improved ballistic physics, more realistic, thoughtful animal AI and four diversely populated, sweepingly beautiful environments across the continent,” the press release states.

“R.J. got attacked by a Hogzilla and he was having a heart attack. His heart was racing so bad because the hog had actually charged at him,” said Vicki, adding the blood trailing adds a nifty touch. “R.J.’s walking up trying to trail his deer. He lost the blood trail and he had to go back and relook for it. It’s not like it just drops and you just go up to it.”

To get in the game, the Archer’s Choice hosts did green screen work at their studio, then traveled to Wisconsin for a day of voiceover work. Vicki said Ralph’s avatar looks pretty much like him but she thinks hers is “kinda creepy. I’ve got like really dark black eyes.”

“But it’s pretty cool,” Vicki said. “We never thought we’d see ourselves as video game avatars.”

“This is something that’s going to be there for a long time,” Ralph said. “It’s cool, like Vicki said. It’s an honor to participate in it and to have more kids get excited, and moms and dads.”

The Cianciarulos had the game for about a week before Tuesday’s release. (For information, go to visit www.ActivisionHunts.com.) They’ll be giving away some on their Facebook page, but they first want to get a shot standing in front of the big screen with them on the game in the background. Stereo Cianciarulos.

While R.J. might not appreciate having dual sets of parents harping on how he should be hunting, he’s probably cool with it, too. After all, there’s not many kids who hear this from their friends: “Can’t believe that your mom and dad are on a video game!”

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