That’s exactly the vision of 25-year old school administrator Stacey Bartlett in her creation that utilses the DREAMS platform on PlayStation 4.
Pick It Up Quick! Is a fairly simple concept where the player is tasked with trying to collect as much rubbish as possible in 45-seconds, all in a beautifully reconstructed versions of two popular New Zealand beaches.
Tokahaki Point, Kapiti Island and Tāhunanui Beach, Nelson are both featured in the title which aims to tackle the real life problem of litter on New Zealand beaches, encouraging players to become citizen scientists of their own.
Since release, the game has been played more than 3000 times across 50 countries with over 100,000 people tuning in on Twitch.
But behind the early success comes a simple and important message that encourages players to relate to what they see in the game and look at ways to reduce their own impact on the environment.
For Bartlett, it will be especially impactful for those who have visited either Tokahaki Point or Tāhunanui Beach in the real world.
“I want people who have visited Tāhunanui Beach in Nelson to play the game and recognise the beach”, Bartlett said, “hopefully they can then understand the scale of the problem and take action to stop the litter getting there in the first place.”
Officially launched by Sustainable Coastlines as part of its Litter Intelligence project, the partnership is one of the first of its kind with UK-based gaming developer Media Molecule approaching Bartlett to publish the game on DREAMS.
“I’ve always loved creating things and I’d been experimenting with DREAMS for a while when Media Molecule approached me”, Bartlett said, “I’ve been playing PlayStation since I was eight so it was exciting and nerve wracking to be asked but I worked closely with the Sustainable Coastlines team to try and make the coastlines as realistic as possible.”
Bartlett’s enthusiasm and skill on the development side caught the attention of Media Molecule early on, receiving praise from the highest desk at the developer.
“What Stacey has achieved is incredible and she’s a talented creator,” says Siobhan Reddy, studio director at Media Molecule.
“We’ve seen some pretty wonderful creations within DREAMS and this is right up there, the community aspect of gameplay that encourages education and understanding is really impressive.”
Pick It Up Quick! Is available on DREAMS for PlayStation 4