The Arctic is under threat from corporations that want to exploit its natural resources for profit. But wait, who’s that over there? It’s Diana G, and she’s racing against the clock to save animals and score ‘Arctic meters’ in an attempt to save the Arctic’s natural wildlife and resources from evil.
Welcome to Greenpeace’s latest game, Arctic Defender, available in the App Store and soon Google Play.
The game, which is part of the Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign, aims to attract younger people between the ages of 16-35 to the very real issues happening in the North, from oil drilling in the melting waters to industrial fishing.
Dan Schaefler, Greenpeace Switzerland teamleader for fundraising and innovation and Arctic Defender project manager, says early into the game players are asked to sign a petition to save the Arctic. While he deems this “low-level engagement,” he says the game is a starting point for people to gain greater knowledge of the issues and want to get involved.
“It could be that the game gives you the first touch. You say, ‘Ok, I’ve signed the petition, I want to contact Greenpeace, or I want to volunteer at Greenpeace,” Dan says.
“You have to give people more and more points to get in touch with your organization. The more points you have, the more interesting your organization is to people, and the more they are open to create more in their lives and get in touch.”
Since launching the game in Beta earlier this year Arctic Defender has won several awards, including gold in the Social Impact/Not For Profit category from the Mobile Marketing Association.
Redevelopment to Deepen User Experience
Greenpeace is currently re-developing Arctic Defender based on feedback from its global offices and industry-related experts with a new version set to launch in January 2013.
Common feedback was the first version is “nice to play,” but the game has potential to go deeper in its storytelling, providing experiences that engage and educate players on the issues at stake in the Arctic.
The new version will feature Diana moving through real-world activities related to saving the Arctic. For example, she’ll travel in a Zodiac boat and scale an arctic rig to protest drilling for oil. The game will feature ads linking to Greenpeace videos to highlight the game’s activity to the organization’s real-world action.
In playing the game, Dan says Greenpeace hopes to teach its core value of non-violent action. The heroine, while some have compared her to Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, is inspired by Lucy Lawless, an actress who has participated in a number of Greenpeace actions, including spending four days on top of a 174-footdrilling tower in Port Taranaki in a protest against Arctic oil exploration.
The new version will also include new day and night scene changes, and differentiated challenges for players.
Global push for Arctic Defender Release
With the launch of Arctic Defender in January, Dan says they’re hoping to push the game through Greenpeace and its allies’ networks to gain maximum uptake.
Dan says Greenpeace Switzerland will be a focus, the country has the highest number of iPhone users per capita, but they are also hoping to build momentum in other countries where Greenpeace has a presence including the United States, China, Argentina and Brazil.
Dan is encouraging everyone to help push the game and bring greater attention to this critical issue.
“For me, it’s really important to have maximum people on board to save the Arctic and to make this issue real because big players want to enter this area for resources, like Shell,” he says.
“The game could be perhaps a little something that can help us get to this point to save the Arctic, finally.”
Greenpeace Switzerland developed the game with Must Mobile.
Stay Connected: @dan_schaefler
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