Gaming for good: TBWA launches coast cleaning Playstation game

TBWA/Group’s Eleven has recently launched a unique video game that aims to support the Sustainable Coastlines organisation and maintain New Zealand’s renowned beauty.

Created through Playstation NZ, ‘Pick Up Quick!’ has players collect as much rubbish as they can off virtual Kiwi beaches within the 45 seconds time slot. Beaches in the game include Tokahaki Point, Kapiti Island and Ta Tāhunanui Beach, Nelson, which were designed by Stacey Bartlett to look as realistic as a game can allow.

“I’ve been playing PlayStation since I was eight so I was excited to be asked, if a little nervous, but I worked closely with the Sustainable Coastlines team to try and make the coastlines as realistic as possible,” says Bartlett.

“I want people who have visited Tahunanui Beach in Nelson to play the game, recognise the beach and understand the scale of the problem and then take action to stop the litter getting there in the first place.”

Previous litter clean ups, led by Sustainable Coastlines, helped provide data towards the game, which now has gamers compare the amount of rubbish they have collected to what had been collected in real life.

Available to play in DREAMS™ for PlayStation® 4, Pick Up Quick! follows the trend of gaming for good and is one of the first partnerships of its kind with London based Media Molecule.

“What makes this game so special is the creative use of real world data to inform the virtual in a way that encourages Kiwis to take action to prevent rubbish getting there in the first place,” says TBWAGroup’s Eleven managing director, Angelina Farry.

“It’s the virtual world and real combining in a positive way that is rarely seen. The level of accuracy and detail in replicating the beaches and the litter found on them is seriously impressive. The whole game and the community purpose behind it is incredible and I hope as many people as possible get to play it.”

Co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines and the Litter Intelligence programme, Camden Howitt, says through education and grass roots action, the threat of litter to New Zealand’s environment can be tackled at scale.

“Across the country we’ve been mobilising Kiwis to become Citizen Scientists to collect the rubbish on our beaches and publish the data,” says Howitt.

“Pick Up Quick! brings that experience to a much wider audience, educating and inspiring them to take action on litter and become Citizen Scientists in real life.”

Through the Litter Intelligence programme, almost 350 surveys have been completed across the country by roughly 4,000 Citizen Scientists, however Howitt says more are needed, particularly in more remote locations.

“It’s a clever use of our data. If everyone who plays the game starts thinking a little harder about their impact on the environment and the changes they can make, then we’re another step closer to solving our litter problem,” Howitt adds.

The uniquely-designed game is now free to play in DREAMS™ which can be found on the Playstation Store. Media Molecule have also gone the extra mile, featuring Pick Up Quick! on the DREAMS homepage to show what’s possible and encourage people to be creative.

The game has now been played almost 1500 times and counting by people from around the world and streamed to 1000s more via multiple Twitch stream.

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