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This post is brought to you by Tree Story.
Not all that long ago I used to play an online game that required planting and caring for things. The game required a fair amount of time, and in the end didn’t really accomplish anything except get people to spend more time playing it. That was time that certainly could have been better spent. Today it is possible to play and enjoy a game that actually provides great benefit to people and the environment. How? I’m talking about Tree Story, a new game from the folks at Zig Zag Zoom.
Zig Zag Zoom is a company founded by former Disney Interactive executives, animators and game designers. Zig Zag Zoom was founded with a company motto of “Have Fun, Do Good.” Here’s why. People put a lot of time and energy into playing mobile games. According to Flurry, Americans spend 2 hours and 38 minutes on their phones everyday with 50 of those minutes dedicated to playing games – the single largest category of apps. Zig Zag Zoom believes that players can actually change the world and do good by playing mobile games.
It is with that belief in mind that Zig Zag Zoom recently launched their first game, entitled Tree Story.
As you probably expect from folks with a Disney background, Tree Story is colorful, fun and approachable. Like that “other game” I was referring to, you (the player) are tasked with taking care of things. Your main responsibility is to plant and nurture baby trees (seedlings) until they have matured into full-grown trees. The trees are characters, which is part of what gives the game its personality.
When you begin the game you decide which area you want to help grow a tree for. You also learn a little about that area.
Next you select the type of tree you want to grow, and you name it. Then you start caring for your tree while it grows. Caring for the tree includes feeding, watering, pruning, and providing sunshine. You also need to protect your tree from pests like Asian Long Horned Beetles. Trees can even be customized with costumes! You also entertain your tree by playing different mini-games and activities.
Once grown, the virtual trees are sent into virtual forests and schools…and then real world trees get planted!
Wait. What? Real trees? Yes, real trees!
In the game when the tree you have nurtured finally matures, you send it off to the virtual forest. In real life, each time a tree is sent to the virtual forest, a real tree is planted. When the real tree is planted, the player learns where the real tree was planted. The planting in real life is done as part of a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Project Learning Tree, ACTrees, and the Arbor Day Foundation. The first tree plantings have already taken place, at the Yu Ying school in Washington D.C. and the Malheur National Park in Oregon.
Here is a trailer of the game.