Pokémon Go developer, Niantic, have partnered with social activism group, Playmob, and a conservation group called Mission Blue, to incentivise players to attend local clean up events by way of in-game rewards.
To coincide with Earth Day on 22nd April, at least 1,500 players need to participate in the challenge within a 48 hour window to earn double the amount of Pokémon training material – Stardust – than they would do normally. If 3,000 players participate, that boost rises to treble the amount of Stardust.
There are 37 events planned across the world but only four are planned in the UK, with one near Great Yarmouth, another in Southend-on-Sea, and two near Brighton in Newhaven and Worthing. Each event is stated to last two hours and Niantic has recommended players who wish to register look into the specific times of events near them.
“Earth Day is an incredible movement and opportunity to team up with friends and neighbours to focus on making the world and our own communities healthy and stable,” said John Hanke, Niantic CEO, in a statement.
Despite Niantic’s best intentions, their track record of organising live events isn’t great after what happened with Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago. Niantic paid $US1.6 million to settle a lawsuit related to the failed festival which saw attendees unable to meet their favourite pocket monsters in the flesh and a slew of in-game crashes. The money is being used to reimburse attendance, travel and accommodation costs for attendees.
Nonetheless, Playmob CEO, Jude Ower, is also positive about the event, stating: “It’s a pleasure to work with such a purposeful and innovative studio and the inspirational and devoted teams behind Mission Blue and all the supporting NGO partners, collaborating on what we see as the start of a bigger movement towards global solutions through play.”
“We know gaming can be an amazing force for good,” Ower also said.
More information about events near you can be found on Pokémon Go’s Earth Day Clean Up page.