In a new video game, Pharrell Williams challenges you to help clean up the ocean.
Pharrell Williams has an ongoing partnership with G-Star RAW to help raise awareness about ocean pollution, as well as push forward efforts to clean it up. While the clothing maker created a collection that uses fibers made from recovered ocean plastic, the musician has lent his star-power to the issue.
The latest project from that collaboration is a video game you can play on your mobile devices, with free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It’s called “Battle for Big Blue,” and features a plastic-collecting octopus. The goal is to collect as much plastic as possible while avoiding various marine adversaries, and is set to a soundtrack by Pharrell.
The educational app allows users to play solo, challenge a friend, or go head to head with Pharrell himself (Pharrell proved to be much better at avoiding spiky pufferfish than I am). The app is cute, kid-friendly and features a lot of rather alarming facts gathered from non-profits, like the tidbit that there’s six times more plastic in the oceans than marine life.
I haven’t played all the levels yet, but one issue I hope “Battle for Big Blue” will address is microplastic. The focus of this game is on plastic bottles, which are obviously a big part of the problem, but we also know that most large items get quickly chewed up by ocean currents into tiny bits which are much trickier to get out of the water. Perhaps a future version could involve tiny ocean worms gobbling up plastic microbeads? After all, recent research found that mealworms can subsist solely on plastic, and scientists have begun searching for a marine counterpart.
In any case, the “Battle for Big Blue” has a great message and is well executed. Hopefully it will not only teach kids (and remind some grownups) about the issues related to plastic pollution, but even inspire some people to actually get out there and collect some bottles from the beach in real life.