Photo Credit : Pixabay
2020 hasn’t just kicked off a brand-new decade, it’s also ushered in the golden era of mobile gaming. Global smartphone usage is at an all-time high right now. There are over 2.5 billion people switching on their mobiles to play games and apps in 2020 – that’s around one-third of the total global population.
In fact, mobile gaming is now more popular among gamer demographics than traditional console or PC gaming, thanks in part to developments like mobile eSports and free to play games. So profound is this meteoric rise, that gamers are now installing Android emulators on their laptops.
Mobile gaming is also set to become one of our most powerful tools in the fight against climate change and global warming.
Gaming to save the planet
Photo Credit : Pixabay
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-facilitated organization Playing for the Planet Alliance recently supported a brand-new initiative that aims to raise awareness of climate change among mobile gamers. The initiative is known as the Green Mobile Game Jam.
Taking place during March and April 2020, a time when mobile usage and mobile gaming surged all over the world, the gaming jam brought together 11 different mobile gaming companies, who collectively had a combined audience of 250 million players.
The players in the “jam” were able to tackle key topics and themes around environmental protection, ranging from reforestation, to the impact of gaming on renewable energy, restoring nature, and climate change.
At the end of the jam, players were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite gaming company in award categories including Overall winner (Playdemic), Most Adoptable (MAG Interactive) and UNEP favorite (Wildworks).
The fastest-growing gaming segment
Mobile gaming is one of the most popular leisure and entertainment activities in the world. With such a vast audience, playing everything from universal puzzle games to real money iGaming apps on their Android and iOS phones, the mobile gaming sector is the fastest growing and most lucrative segment in the total gaming market. Widely expected to be worth over $76 billion by the end of 2020, the sector has displayed year on year growth of 12%, leading industry analysts to claim that it is the future of gaming.
In a complete reversal of the isolated geek gamer stereotype, the modern-day gamer is socially active, engaged and educated. Tapping into this powerful segment to increase the impact of environmental awareness is a savvy move, particularly since the mobile gaming industry continues to receive ongoing attention from gamers, developers and advertisers alike.
Continuing the green work
Spring’s game jam was just the beginning of the combined efforts of the UNEP and the gaming industry. The 11 companies who participated in the jam have committed to integrating “green” activations in key games in their portfolios, focusing on gameplay, themed events, messaging and game storylines.
Angry Birds 2, Rovio’s direct sequel to the ubiquitous Angry Birds mobile game, for example, will soon be encouraging gamers to become more proactive with environmental protection measures. Rovio plans to launch an in-game event that will educate gamers on the positive impact they can have on the real world by asking them to gather seeds and plant trees. According to Ville Heijar, Rovio’s Chief Marketing Officer, it’s “a big thing” for the development company to be involved with this initiative as it sets out to “be a company with a purpose”.
With the full list of activations set to go live by early 2021 at the latest, the Playing for the Planet Alliance will also be partnering with Google Play to promote the new green games. The aim for the 2021 jam is to encourage even more development companies to get involved and to potentially reach an audience of 1 billion global gamers.
Along with Rovio, the companies involved in the 2020 initiative are:
- Sybo, which will launch a world tour stop in Subway Surfers to ask gamers to take frontline action.
- MAG Interactive will launch tree-planting and environmental awareness themed events in WordBrain and its sequel.
- WildWorks will introduce renewable energy choices, including wind and solar power in Animal Jam, which will also reward players with special unlocks and eco-credits.
- Space Ape will introduce education about renewable energy in their Transformers: Earth Wars game.
- Education is also the theme for Playdemic, which aims to mobilize its extensive Gold Clash audience.
- Pixelberry plans to present a new story in Choices that will see two characters raise awareness of climate change to save their family-run fishing business.
- Fingersoft will add in solar-panel powered recharge stations to Hill Climb Racing 2
- GameDuell will provide Belote.com gamers with practical, real-life sustainability tips that they can integrate into daily life.
- Future Games of London will raise awareness of the melting polar ice caps through its new game update, Arctic Extinction for Hungary Shark World.
- Creative mobile will actively fundraise for the Wolf Conservation Trust by running special events in the Zoocraft: Animal Family game.