Can game experiences influence the future of conservation interest?

We spent the last 6 months working with the Luc Hoffmann Institute and Internet Elephant to find out how we can bring more funding to wildlife conservation through games and gamification.

This report has been authored by our co-founder Maike Gericke, with the contribution of Internet of Elephant and DMB Crew.

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Key Insights

Among internet users (16+), there are currently around 1.6B regular gamers and 1.1B people interested in wildlife. At the intersection of those two, we can find a group of approx. 777M “wildlife gamers”.

More than 70% of those “wildlife gamers” are below 40 years old.

Games are the preferred pastime activity of 26% of Gen Z, surpassing music, the internet, and social platforms3.

Gen Z mainly play to socialize and learn, Millennials play to socialize and escape, Gen X is most interested in challenges that let them escape from reality.

Interestingly for Gen Z, socializing in games is not reserved to frequent gamers, but becomes a pastime activity for even infrequent (predominantly male) gamers.

Intersecting with wildlife interest are five other key motivators:

  • Environmental gamers (71.7% of wildlife gamers) focus on safeguarding the environment & mitigating climate change
  • Health & Wellbeing gamers (76.4% of wildlife gamers) want to lead a healthy life
  • Outdoor adventure gamers (58.4% of wildlife gamers) want to explore nature
  • Parents (46.4% of wildlife gamers) want to leave a better world for their children
  • Pet owners (43.4% of wildlife gamers) focus on caring for their pet, and thereby bring that empathy to wildlife in general.

There are four key roles that wildlife content can play in games and game-like experiences:

  • Raising awareness through casual character integration
  • Creating empathy through personal storytelling
  • Guiding understanding through narratives spiked with scientific insight
  • Guiding action through campaigns, gamification & real-world integration

In the future, gaming experiences will increasingly blend with social media and entertainment and will increasingly integrate real-life and virtual experiences. Many brands and companies are already moving into metaverse experimentation. This is a powerful space to bring wildlife content to new audiences and ensure the engagement of future generations in conservation.

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