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Jagex, Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Urge Runescape Players to Back Campaign to Save Rhinos
Published: 14th July 2014.
Millions of online gamers are being asked by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to back a worldwide battle - to save the rhino from extinction.
Bosses at Cambridge company Jagex, which produces the massively-popular game RuneScape, are supporting a campaign called United for Wildlife.
They are giving players virtual rhino pets and in-game bonuses if they answer questions about the plight of the endangered species correctly.
The aim is to raise awareness of the critically endangered black rhino, and also the threatened white rhino, both of which are indigenous to Africa.
The idea could have a huge impact - the free-to-play game is enjoyed by more than 220 million people around the globe, and the campaign is a collaboration of seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations, brought together by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Africa’s black rhino population has dwindled to under 5,000, and there are believed to be only about 20,000 white rhinos left. They are threatned by illegal poaching, with rhino horn being prized as an aphrodisiac, hangover remedy and cure for terminal illnesses.
Neil McClarty, brand director of RuneScape, said players are being asked to answer a question a day about the animal, over a fortnight, unlocking a white rhino ‘pet’ if they answer three correctly, and a black one if they get 10 right.
Two young conservationists supported by Cambridge-based Fauna & Flora International, one of the seven United for Wildlife charities, will also be immortalised in the game after having their voices recorded as special in-game characters.
Mr McClarty said: “The RuneScape team is really proud to play our part in this important conservation project. Our community has always shown amazing support for the many charity campaigns we’ve been involved with over the years.”
Ros Aveling, deputy chief executive of Fauna & Flora International added: “Innovative approaches to reaching a younger audience, who are traditionally hard to engage in conservation, are vital to the success of United for Wildlife - and to the protection of critically endangered wildlife.”
Source: Cambridge News
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