Australia has had a tough few weeks and months with the bushfire crisis raging across much of the country. With such devastation and loss of life, particularly of our unique fauna and flora, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless.
Gamification and games are inherently fun, playful and light-hearted. On one hand this can seem to put these approaches in opposition with serious causes and events. But on the other hand, this is what makes them perfect for injecting positivity and increasing engagement when it is needed the most.
Jez Kabanoff, a Sydney-based indie game developer, created a game to do exactly that - bring light-heartedness to a heavy subject. In a recent ABC news-article (link below), Jez said:
"It's just trying to get the attention of people who might not otherwise be involved in or notice stuff like this. I'm not a firefighter - I'm probably not very helpful with that. But I'm a game developer, so I'll try and make a game and raise some funds for something that's important."
Jez's game, Bushfire Rescue Tactics, is a video game that lets you choose a wildlife avatar and fight fires. You can choose to play as a Koala, Possume, Wombat, Kookaburra, Echidna and more, and each avatar has their own skills to help fight the fires. For example, the birds can fly long distances, wombats can burrow, and kangaroos can jump over obstacles. Players fight fires while battling strong winds, heat waves and storms while managing their water supply.
Each purchase of the game is donated to NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) and Wildlife Victoria. You can purchase it here.
For the full ABC news article, click here