Gamification Lures Park Visitors, Encourages Volunteerism

BY Courtney Huckabay

"A new free mobile game could increase volunteerism at national parks and result in a $50,000 donation to the National Park Foundation. "Save the Park” features four characters who accomplish volunteer tasks in three different parks, challenging players to experience in a virtual environment the impact they can have on park conservation and stewardship."

"The game also introduces facts about specific national parks and directs players to NPS​.gov to explore volunteer opportunities in their local national parks," Colleen G. Steinman explained in MarketingDaily. "Players also can share elements of the game experience socially."

"For every download of the game in 2016, the American Express Foundation will make a $1 donation to the National Park Foundation, up to $50,000."

AudienceSCAN finds 19.9% of adults are planning trips to state/​national parks in the next 12 months.

By creating characters and storylines that showcase realistic ways that people can support park conservation, we hope the game will provide a jumping-​off point for people who care about the environment to picture themselves actively participating,” Meredith Hahn, vice president of corporate social responsibility at American Express, tells Marketing Daily.

Local parks can reach out to State/​National Park Visitors with ads focused on volunteer efforts. AudienceSCAN reports 22.3% of Park Visitors set personal goals to volunteer for a cause or charity this year.

"One of the game’s characters is Simone, a fourth-​grade junior ranger, created to demonstrate that people of all ages can participate in volunteerism in the parks, says Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change. Additional characters include Ben, a wildlife lover; Mei, an environmental champion; Luna, a citizen scientist; and Andre, a culture concierge."

While the game was made for Millennials, the beauty of it is that it can appeal to people of all ages,” Pollack says. “Games can be a great way to expose people to an experience that they may never have considered before.”

According to AudienceSCAN research, 20% of State/​National Park Visitors are aged 25–34.

"Park officials believe “Save the Park” will help the Department of Interior achieve its goal of boosting community volunteers on public lands to 1 million by 2017."

Tailor ads toward State/​National Park crowds in print: 54.6% of visitors took action after reading newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) ads in the past year, AudienceSCAN reveals.

With more than 400 parks across the country that protect and preserve America's landscapes, culture and history, we can’t do it alone,” NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “Volunteers serve important roles in many of our national parks.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.