Earth Hour is the moment that we as a world agree to turn off the lights for an hour, and if possible, to do even more for the earth. Now gaming in itself is not very friendly to the earth, especially if you do it online: after all, a lot of large data centers have to be running to play a game like Fortnite, for example. So it would be best to ignore Fortnite for an hour, but the blood is thicker than water. And gamers have still thought about it in their game: this is how.
In Fortnite, gamers decided last weekend to turn off the lights in the game. It was not spontaneous, but was organized by The Invaders, a trademark agency. Now you may think: what’s the point of that? But it has a very positive influence on how young people can engage in sustainability. The World Wildlife Fund was thus brought together with Epic, the maker of Fortnite. By teaching young people about sustainability in this way, a good goal is still achieved.
Earth Hour first started in Australia. The first Earth Day was held in Sydney in 2007 and it has since become an annual event in which people from 190 countries participate. However, it is also important to address target groups that may be less familiar with Earth Hour. Younger generations are now more concerned with sustainability and preserving the earth, but these are often specific groups. By drawing attention to the conservation of nature in a game, for example, a completely different target group is tapped into.
Gaming consultant Pieter Doove says: “Reaching new target groups for these kinds of social initiatives through the world of gaming is the core of what we stand for. Sometimes it takes very little effort to translate a good idea to the place where young people in particular are active. In this case Fortnite Creative. Our worldwide contacts and track record ensured that we were able to sit down with Epic Games, the creative builders and WWF International to see how we could also ‘turn off the lights’ in-game.”
In various worlds within Fortnite, attention was drawn to Earth Hour as a result of the initiative by turning off the lights in the game. Turning off the light in Fortnite is also something that really makes a difference in the game itself. In the activation of Team Alliance you froze with the light on, but when it turned off you could move freely as normal.
Doove endorses what we just said: “Gamers will be gamers. Of course you could argue that it is even better to stop your game during Earth Hour. That could be a next step. We always work from the player first idea: we improve the experience of the player, while we load a message. With these activations we certainly do that and you may wonder whether turning off a game fits in with that idea.”
Interesting that Epic Games understands how important something like Earth Hour is, even if it is an organization that consumes a lot of energy at the same time. It’s great to see that it isn’t afraid to inspire gamers to perhaps turn off the game altogether, although turning off the lights is already a very good step in that direction.
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