Players of the KATOA Ocean game that was launched internationally on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day earn points when they explore underwater ecosystems, manage resources, complete quests and combat threats.
Philanthropists then convert in-game points into real-world funding that goes directly towards the regeneration of 250 hectares of critical seagrass meadows on the Great Barrier Reef.
The more people who play, the more funding goes to helping the reef survive the impacts of climate change, according to Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden, whose organisation has partnered with international creators Sankari Studios to launch the new game.
“We’re excited to partner with Sankari Studios on KATOA Ocean so that all Australians, and reef-lovers around the world, can help secure a better future for our reef,” Marsden said.
Free to download and play, the game also acts as an educational tool, providing insights to players about the threats facing the reef as they conquer various levels.
“Seagrass meadows are a critical habitat on our reef. They provide food, shelter and breeding grounds to threatened species including turtles and dugongs, they filter pollutants from the water and they remove carbon from our atmosphere,” Marsden said.
“Like the rest of the reef ecosystem, they are coming under threat from the impacts of climate change. Already we’ve suffered extensive losses of seagrass meadows. It’s not too late to save them, but time is running out.”