Save the Purple Frog has been played by more than 80,000 people. What happens when they take part in it?
Our free-to-play mobile game Save the Purple Frog is played around the world. It was designed as a serious environmental game, so while it’s meant to be entertaining, its goal isn’t just that. Instead, we wanted to encourage players to support purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis] conservation.
Now that the game has taken off, we wanted to know what effect it was having.
First ever cross-cultural evaluation
So, between November and December 2021, we did an experiment in India, where the purple frog lives and where new players are growing fast. At the same time, we ran an experiment in the UK, which is a major gaming market for On the Edge. Overall, 422 participants were involved.
Few studies of environmental serious games have been published and those that have focus on Western audiences in Europe and North America. Our study was the FIRST EVER cross-cultural evaluation of an environmental serious game. We wanted to know what effect playing Save the Purple Frog had on players’ knowledge of this elusive creature and their attitudes to conservation.
Now that’s a result!
Players in both countries were given a questionnaire to answer, then three days to complete an hour’s worth of play. Afterwards, they were asked to complete another survey. There were two games, Save the Purple Frog and a market-leading mobile game that also involved a frog crossing a road. The games were randomly assigned to gamers taking part.
And the results were extremely encouraging! Players of Save the Purple Frog in both countries learned lots about this endangered amphibian and its conservation. Indian players were more positive about the game’s music, UK players about its tutorial. Those who rated the game more highly had university degrees and spent longer playing.
The potential of mobile games
The difference between Indian and UK players’ responses highlights some of the challenges of designing a game that’s intended for people from more than one culture. It’s something we’re pondering. But what the results suggest is the huge potential of mobile games to shift attitudes – and even behaviour – towards wildlife conservation.
No prizes for guessing what’s next on our agenda!
Click here [link] for the full published study authored by On the Edge Head of Impact & Measurement Diogo Verissimo