Game Changers

Competition Details
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spot red - where's that squirrel?

by Carrie Huang
Co-authors: Vera Kwok

SPOT RED is a mobile game that combines player’s interactions with the physical environment as well as the virtual environment.

The underlying purpose for this game is to draw awareness of our natural surroundings. Populations are increasing in urban areas and additionally people are spending more time in virtual environments, playing virtual games. Taking inspiration from popular online games SPOT RED aims to balance a virtual game with the health benefits of an outdoors’ game. It is designed so that in order to progress online, players have to go into the real world to complete tasks.

The background story to SPOT RED is inspired by the call to save the red squirrels in Britain. Their population is in decline since the introduction of the grey squirrels. Conservation groups around the country work to gather more data on both squirrel population and seek for people to send through information on grey and red squirrel sightings.

To play the game, the player is given a virtual red squirrel which they can name and customise. Players can earn points by spotting squirrels, capturing it on their mobile phones and uploading it to the game. This will earn them points to buy virtual acorns and build a habitat for the squirrel. Players can also connect and share information with other players on good spots for squirrel sightings.

The game aims to encourage players to spend time outdoors, exploring park areas around the city and creating positive social interactions between people as well as drawing awareness to the declining population of the red squirrel.