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Leveraging Mobile Games to Portray Authentic Life Narratives

On the Edge is a non-profit organization dedicated to multimedia and conservation efforts, aiming to educate and inspire audiences about the challenges faced by endangered species. In pursuit of this goal, the organization has embraced mobile gaming as a platform to convey these animals’ narratives in a captivating manner.

One notable creation is Electric Blue: Gecko Dash!, a game developed by Usiku Games, a part of the Pan Africa Gaming Group.

In a recent discussion following the game’s launch, Brera Razzaq, the business development manager, provided insights into Electric Blue: Gecko Dash! and shed light on On the Edge’s approach to selecting species for their games and collaborating with suitable developers to amplify real-world impacts.

Background and Mission of On the Edge:
Founded by Beth Blood, On the Edge originated from a desire to reshape perceptions of animals and nature in popular culture. Beth’s vision was to establish a platform that would foster a deeper appreciation for the natural world and its inhabitants. Through storytelling, On the Edge, established in 2015, endeavors to rekindle the human connection with nature and raise awareness about endangered species. OtE Productions, formed in 2020, supports the publication of their mobile games.

Utilizing Video Games for Storytelling:
Video games serve as a powerful medium to bridge the gap between people and the environment. Electric Blue: Gecko Dash! exemplifies this concept by immersing players in the challenges faced by the critically endangered Electric Blue Gecko. By gamifying the gecko’s plight, players navigate through scenarios reflecting real-world threats such as deforestation and illegal trade, all while experiencing the gecko’s perspective. The game effectively communicates conservation messages through engaging gameplay, illustrating that raising awareness can be both entertaining and impactful.

Objectives of On the Edge’s Games:
On the Edge’s game portfolio, including titles like Kākāpō Run, Purple Frog, and Electric Blue: Gecko Dash!, aims to spotlight Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. By shedding light on lesser-known species and fostering player engagement, these games seek to cultivate empathy and advocacy for endangered animals. Through gameplay experiences like Electric Blue: Gecko Dash!, players develop emotional connections with the featured species, fostering a deeper appreciation for wildlife conservation efforts.

Game Development and Species Selection Process:
Each year, On the Edge selects an EDGE zone rich in unique and threatened species as the focal point for their games. Collaborating closely with developers, the organization conducts thorough research on chosen species to craft compelling narratives that align with conservation goals. By partnering with local game developers, such as Usiku Games for Electric Blue: Gecko Dash!, On the Edge ensures an authentic representation of the species’ habitats and conservation challenges. The gameplay blends entertainment with informative storytelling, offering players a captivating experience while raising awareness about environmental issues.

Future Initiatives and Game Releases:
Looking ahead to 2024, On the Edge plans to enhance existing games with character customization options and endless modes for dedicated players. Additionally, the organization is developing two new titles—one set underwater and the other featuring a scaly protagonist. These upcoming releases aim to diversify the gaming experience and continue advocating for wildlife conservation through innovative storytelling.

In conclusion, On the Edge’s commitment to leveraging mobile gaming for conservation advocacy underscores the potential of interactive media in fostering environmental awareness and empathy towards endangered species. Through strategic partnerships, engaging narratives, and player-centric experiences, On the Edge strives to inspire positive change in how society perceives and protects our natural world.