The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently shared that the video game industry will rally 250 million players to join the fight to ‘Save The Planet”. It further noted that the leading names in mobile gaming will soon be integrating a series of environmental activations into popular games including Angry Birds, Golf Clash and Subway Surfers.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP said, “We are excited to see the gaming industry throw its weight behind global efforts to reverse the climate crisis.The climate emergency needs all hands on deck. In reaching out to 250 million gamers, we hope to inspire audiences to take action.”

Notably, UNEP post notes that there is a vast population of 2.6 billion people around the world who play video games while 666 million also watched other people play games on YouTube and Twitch in the year 2017 alone. Notably, even during the pandemic, the gaming industry flourished further with the lockdowns.

The UN experts have thus, highlighted that the programme can have a humongous impact in the fight to protect the environment even if it is able to convince only a percentage of the gaming audiences and players. Additionally, the UN agency also recounted in another post how Space Ape players had come forward to help and raised $120,000 in just four days for the Australian bush fires in 2019.

The UN agency had also partnered earlier this year with the gaming community to hold the world’s first ever “Green Mobile Game Jam” from March to April 2020. Notably, executives and developers from 11 gaming firms committed to integrate green activations into their mobile games. The activations will cover a host of features including messaging, modes, maps and buildings,storylines and themed events to spread awareness. The Jam was supported by the organisation’sP​laying for the Planet ​​Allianceand managed bySpace Ape.

Some of the major games that will host green activations are:

  • Angry Birds 2
  • Animal Jam
  • Zoocraft: Animal Family
  • Hungry Shark World
  • Arctic Extinction
  • Transformers: Earth Wars
  • Choices
  • Golf Clash
  • Subway Surfers
  • WordBrain
  • Hill Climb Racing 2

While Fingersoft will add recharge stations with solar panels in Hill Climb Racing 2, Rovio will host two in-game events in Angry Birds 2 themed reforestation. The popular story game, Choices will also get a new book on two sisters raising awareness about climate change.

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Creative mobile will be restoring biodiversity through special events to fundraise for the Wolf Conservation Trust in their game Zoocraft: Animal Family.Future Games of London will spread awareness around melting polar ice through Arctic Extinction.WordBrain and WordBrain2 will also spread awareness around tree plantation.

Space Ape will be taking up benefits of renewable energy via. Transformers: Earth Wars. Interestingly,WildWorkswill also spread awareness about renewable resources by introducing new renewable energy choices and corresponding rewards in Animal Jam.

Later, during the reviews, Green Game Jam participants voted Playdemic as the Overall Winner while Wildworks emerged as the UNEP favourite. Some of these green activations have already been integrated in the corresponding games while others are also expectedto go live by early 2021.

John Earner, CEO, Space Ape said, “I was skeptical whether we could pull it off, especially during lockdown, but it was really inspiring to see companies who are normally very competitive come together and deliver some really great work. I see a huge amount of potential here for our industry and player communities going forward.”

Video games are definitely one of the most fun stress busters. But, the gaming world seems set to do more than just providing fun and delight. With events such as these, they will enable the large gaming community to spread awareness around environmental concerns and initiatives through their popular mobile games. 

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