American Express (NYSE:AXP) today announced a partnership with Games for Change to develop a mobile game designed to galvanize the public to volunteer in national parks. "Save the Park," available for free on iOS and created through a $250,000 grant from American Express, complements the company's multi-year, $5 million commitment to help the Department of the Interior achieve its goal of increasing community volunteers in national parks and on public lands to one million annually by 2017.
"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. Embedded calls-to-action encourage players to explore real-world volunteer opportunities in national parks.
"American Express has a long heritage of building community service programs, and we are proud to partner with Games for Change to reimagine volunteer engagement in the digital age," said Meredith Hahn, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, American Express. "To inspire and mobilize the next generation of volunteers we need a new set of tools, and we believe 'Save the Park' is a 'virtual' first step to converting game players into real-world volunteers."
Founded in 2004, Games for Change is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve humanitarian, social and educational efforts. "Games for Change shares an affinity with American Express in the importance of gaming in the advancement of society," said Susanna Pollack, president, Games for Change. "Through our partnership, we are excited to mobilize a new generation of volunteers to preserve and revitalize America's treasured natural parks."
"Volunteering is one of the best ways to get up, get out and find your park," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "With more than 400 parks across the country that protect and preserve America's landscapes, culture and history, we can't do it alone, and volunteers serve important roles in many of our national parks. We thank American Express and Games for Change for supporting our efforts to inspire a new generation to serve our parks."
Downloads Help Save the Parks
Additionally, "Save the Park" is part of American Express' partnership with the National Park Foundation (NPF) for Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque, a bilingual public awareness and education movement to inspire people of all backgrounds to discover all that a park can be, share their experiences with each other, and support these treasured places and their unique programs as the National Park Service kicks off its second century in 2016.
To drive additional resources to the cause, the American Express Foundation will make a $1 donation to NPF for each download of "Save the Park" occurring on or before December 31, 2016, up to $50,000. The donation will support NPF's park conservation and stewardship work.
Developing Virtual Park Stewards Through Gaming
To develop "Save the Park," Games for Change engaged Schell Games, a leading educational game developer that has produced games for PBS Kids, the Fred Rogers Company, and Walt Disney, among others.
"Save the Park" allows players to virtually experience the types of volunteer activities that support parks and the critical caretaking role volunteers play. The game also introduces facts about specific national parks to help create a greater emotional connection between the player and these treasured places. Players are encouraged to visit NPS.gov to explore volunteer opportunities in their local communities and join the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that help maintain trails, provide visitor services, give guided nature walks and historic tours, support preservation initiatives and deliver education programs to youth and school groups in National Parks. They can also share elements of the game experience socially.
For more information about or to download "Save the Park," please visit iTunes.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
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About Games for Change
Founded in 2004, Games for Change (G4C), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve humanitarian, social and educational efforts.To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiplestakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects. The organization is best known for its role in producing "Half the Sky Movement: The Game" a companion game to the bestselling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, written by Pulitzer prize winning husband-and-wife team - Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Find out more at www.gamesforchange.org.