Pollutants become monsters in this HTC Vive clean water educational game.
It seems like there’s been a surge in environmental awareness VR Content recently, but it’s never been done quite like this. Non-profit organization Water is Life, known for creative campaigns including Hashtag Killer and Kenya Bucket List, has taken activism VR to new heights with brand new game, Hidden Dangers.
Water is Life teamed up with ad agency Deutsch, game developer Ntropic + Tactic, and VR studio m ss ng p eces to create a VR experience that is both educational and unforgettable. A powerful, three-minute short (below) was created documenting the process to raise awareness and funds for the project. Shot on location in Thailand, the film follows a young girl named Wanjai who lives near the Khao Laem River. The river is a source of life for Wanjai and her villagers—it connects them to larger villages and provides water essential for essential activities like cooking, drinking, and cleaning. However, the river is often dirty and undrinkable due to the Hidden Dangers lurking in the water—the very same ones that Wanjai and her classmates later battle within the VR game.
One by one, Wanjai and her classmates entered the VR world and battled “river monsters,” including trash, pollutants, chemicals, and more, using a straw-like weapon to suck them up as their peers watch the experience live on the big screen. After each student had the chance to experience virtual reality, the Water is Life team provided real life versions of the straw-weapons that they used to defeat the monsters within the game—water filters.
It was important to the Water is Life team that the students were provided with a once in a lifetime experience, and by giving the students—who have never even heard of virtual reality before—the opportunity to experience a VR version of their very own river and world was a massive success. However, it was even more important that the students left with the knowledge and ability to maintain clean drinking water for themselves and their families, and Water is Life founder and CEO Ken Surrite believes that VR made that goal possible. “We realized that by using VR, we could make the real dangers visible. These children will never forget the monsters they saw, but they also won’t forget how to clean the water and defeat them.”
Watch Hidden Dangers gameplay below:
Water is Life hopes that the Hidden Dangers campaign will help raise funds for their efforts to provide water filters—which can be distributed for as little as ten dollars—to as many people as possible. “Clean water is a universal problem, and the Hidden Dangers marketing campaign is a smart, artistic way to bring real-world problems — and their solutions — to the forefront,” said Surrite.
The game will continue to travel to schools around the world and additional educational information can be found on the Water is Life website.