Almost 250 million people who play the online video game Fortnite every day are being challenged by conservation charity WWF to survive the game – but with a twist.
The #NoBuildChallenge rule is simple: players are expected to proceed through the game without exploiting any of the usual natural resources which allow them to survive and increase their skills: this means no wood, no stone and no metal.
The idea is that the #NoBuildChallenge participants will understand a simple fact: staying alive is difficult without the planet’s natural resources. These players will be encouraged to share this message with their Fortnite networks all over the world.
The #NoBuildChallenge campaign was officially launched on Friday 5 April by Solary, the French pro-gamers team, with a live stream on their Twitch channel, which has 730,000+ followers.
Solary includes star gamers such as Kinstaar, Hunter, Nikof and Yoshi. The first #NoBuildChallenge live session drew 7,000 gamers in two hours.
Fortnite has become a space of exchange and creativity and its community of YouTube and Twitch gamers and streamers are also invited to join in and rise to the challenge.
Live games and recorded content will be broadcast to spark a conversation throughout the campaign, which runs until Earth Day on Monday April 22.
The campaign has been created for WWF France by the Paris-based socially-led creative agency We Are Social. It kicks off as students in more than a hundred countries, from Sweden to South Africa, close their books and take to the streets to demand an urgent response to climate change.
Jacques-Olivier Barthes, Communications Director at WWF France, said: “Survival is a concept that will probably not be virtual in the future, as we continue to consume more resources than the earth is able to offer.
"Quite simply, if we do not change the rules, we will not survive. By engaging Fortnite’s community of young, active players, we hope more and more people will join the fight to preserve our planet.”
Sandrine Plasseraud, President of We Are Social France, said: “The gamer community is mostly young, and they are going to be the inheritors of our planet – a planet whose resources are running out faster every year.
"Gamers are already using their networks to convey positive messages. The idea of the #NoBuildChallenge is to capitalize on this community which is already very committed to meeting our new environmental challenges.”
Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from We Are Social.