Environmental Protection

Social Gamers Plant 25,000 Real Trees with the Click of a Button

The trees have been tallied and the results are in: Ecotopia players proved social games can have a real-world impact, having planted 25,000 trees in-game in 25 days, in response to the Plant a Real Forest Challenge issued by independent games studio Talkie last month. As a result, Talkie will plant 25,000 trees within the Guaranta, Promissão Reunidas, Promissão Dandara and Arco Iris communities in São Paulo, Brazil, potentially removing more than one thousand tons of CO2 and 100,000 pounds of ozone from Earth's atmosphere. Talkie hosted the Plant a Real Forest Challenge in association with Conservation International, a global non-profit organization leveraging strategic partnerships to protect and sustainably manage nature for the long term benefit of people, and Trees for the Future, a highly respected agroforestry resource center working to improve livelihoods and restore degraded lands to sustainable productivity through planting beneficial trees.

"We're beyond thrilled to see the impact social games can have on real-world issues," said Chris Swain, founder and CEO of Talkie, and a professor and research institute director at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media Division. "Simply by logging in to Ecotopia and playing the game, our fans were able to make a positive contribution to the environment, at no cost to them."

 Ecotopia, a free-to-play Facebook game with a social conscience, advances the popular city building game model as it aims to wrap fun and compelling gameplay with philanthropy and real-world involvement via the world's largest social networking site. Ecotopia is the first social game to encourage and empower users to conduct environmental good in the real world, which can be redeemed for rewards in the online game.

In this eco-friendly heroes-versus-villains Facebook adventure, Ecotopia players begin with a dirty, uninhabitable environment and must generate resources by completing immersive in-game missions. Resources are then used to develop a colorful and exciting sustainable city that players can customize to create their own utopia. Players also can connect with their Facebook friends, sending gifts to each other and visiting neighboring maps to perform helpful actions. In a feature new to social gaming, players are heavily rewarded for performing real-world acts of sustainability and incorporating them into their Ecotopia gaming experience. Ecotopia has been embraced by a cross section of leading environmental organizations including:  Environment America, Surfrider, Environmental Media Association, Treepeople and many more.

To learn more about the Plant a Real Forest Challenge and to play Ecotopia, visit http://facebook.com/ecotopia.

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