"Save the Elephants!" is a video game aimed at raising awareness and reducing demand for wildlife products.
The game is a simulation of the global wildlife trading economy with the goal of preventing elephants from going extinct. The economy features entities such as wildlife populations, poachers and consumers of wildlife products. Players can spend their limited budgets on preservation efforts in different areas, such as increasing law enforcement to combat poachers, investing in regeneration schemes to rebuild elephant populations, and conducting PR campaigns to reduce demand for illegal ivory.
The economy is dynamic and adapts to the players actions. For example, if a player reduces demand for wildlife products in one area might reduce poaching activities in another area but in turn increase the poaching activity and demand in other areas. These _ emergent _ characteristics of the game demonstrate that tackling the illegal ivory trade is a complex issue, requiring approaches on multiple fronts.
By letting players experience virtual extinction events, we aim to raise awareness about the pressing issue of global wildlife trade and reduce the social acceptance for wildlife products.
The game can be easily extended to a larger-scale simulation, or a mobile cooperative multiplayer game with in-game events based on real-world data. There are also potential applications outside of gaming e.g. in decision support or science.