Being a professional in 2020 means that among my many habits, is one where as soon as I have woken up, I am reaching for my phone to check my notifications, and the news for the day.
It doesn’t take too long while scrolling the news to come across the latest in a series of events pointing towards the grave effects of climate change and unchecked human behaviour.We have grown up learning that 70% of our world is covered by oceans – home to some of the most diverse species in the world. They are also among the first to be impacted by the plastic crisis, affecting marine life and those who depend on it in progressively severe ways. In these times, it is heartening to see the increase in initiatives towards the conservation of our oceans and the life that calls them home. That said, the need for far more people to be involved and act is the need of the hour.
But the question that bothered me most is – how?
How do we inculcate not just information but a will from the inside to create change for the better? We learn from a very young age of the impact of plastics and that recycling is our best option – and yet changing that from knowledge and behaviour has evidently taken us far too long as a collective.
The answer, once we came to it, was so simple yet effective, that we mapped our entire vision for change around it. And, much like we did first thing in the morning, we reached out to our mobile phones.
Technology has reshaped the way we view and interact with the world. In subtle ways apparent only when you take the time out to think, it has done everything from creating jobs that never existed before, to deciding where the bed is positioned when moving into a new room (next to the power outlet, of course!) and so much more. So why not gamify environmental causes and drive change from the subconscious?
That is how Ocean Heroes was born.
Though not without its fair share of market insights and research! Through our understanding of the impact of technology, particularly via gaming, we decided to craft an experience that allowed a first-hand understanding of how good saving the oceans can feel and how plastics have no business being in the oceans.
The very essence of the Ocean Heroes is to ensure that one gains much more than awareness’; they gain empathy towards the oceans and marine life.
Empathy is just the starting point, and we didn’t want to leave users stranded at that stage. Thus, we have chosen to partner with not-for-profits doing great work in this field. Players have the choice to make donations to these organisations via the app and contribute to international efforts to save our oceans. And that’s the power that gamification offers – a chance at building emotional awareness as well as measurable and tangible action for the better.
Change that is moved by outside stimuli is good, but change for the better from within – that is sustainable thus far more impactful. Gamification has previously made its mark when it comes to effective learning, team-building and simplifying menial tasks. Optimising games to create change for the better has definitely begun, and we can’t wait to witness the full potential gamification holds.
So the next time a condescending friend chastises you for playing games. Let them know of the difference you are actively making, in your own life and in those who need it most.