Internet of Elephants, a Kenyan augmented reality game developer, launched its latest game in partnership with the conservation science experts from the Borneo Nature Foundation, Goualougo Triangle Ape Foundation, Zoo Atlanta and Chester Zoo.
Wildeverse is the new game that uses AR to create a virtual forest that players can explore to find the animals, or even clues to find the animal’s whereabouts.
The game was intended to be played outdoors, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team of developers created an option where people can move about virtually using in-game controls and explore more in confined spaces.
You start the game with a chat-based segment, where players are introduced and information on the virtual environment that the players will be exploring will also be given.
There’s a timer that keeps track of how long a player takes to complete a mission. Once the mission is complete, the player will have a scripted interaction with an actual conservationist who helped Internet of Elephants game developers to come up with the concept of the game.
The game developers, led by company founder Gautam Shah, actually went to the Borneo and Congo jungles to speak with conservationists about their work to use in the game.
“Ape populations are being decimated across the world. Wildlife protection will only become a global priority if enough people take an interest. Conservationists on the ground are fighting an uphill battle with the support of only a handful of people,” Shah said in a statement. “We are on a mission to turn the 2 billion people playing games today, into wildlife lovers and supporters of conservation efforts.”
Shah said there are three primary conservation elements in the game. First, it creates a link between players and conservation societies, which can give people a better sense of what conservation organizations actually do. Second, it forces players to confront issues like forest fires, illegal logging, poaching and other challenges animals encounter in the wild. Lastly, it offers an educational element to the game.
“You really really do learn a lot of juicy stuff and we don’t shy away from getting technical,” he added. “All that collectivelyis about creating a connection between you sitting in St. Louis and someone in Borneo trying to study orangutans.”
The game can be played on any iOS or Android device that support ARKit or ARCore.
“We want to make wildlife a positive, exciting topic of daily conservation for millions of people currently unconnected to conservation. We want to make Fio, Buka, Chilli and Aida celebrities, just like Kim Kardashian, Messi and Donald Trump,” Shah said. “People’s attention matters so much more than they think.”
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