Sony, Arbor Day Foundation partnered to plant 288,000 trees through video games
LINCOLN - The Arbor Day Foundation and Sony Entertainment Interactive (SEI) teamed up this year to plant up to 288,000 trees across the U.S. by, you guessed it, playing video games.
The specific game involved in the ecological project is Horizon Forbidden West. The game follows around the main character, Aloy, in a post-apocalyptic world known as Horizon.
Horizon Forbidden West, which released on Feb 18, features real-life environmental issues and its up to the player in-game to find a way to save the planet from extinction.
Sony announced one tree will be planted in three at-risk forests in the U.S. for every in-game “Reached the Daunt” trophy that is unlocked to help complete three reforestation projects.
The partnership is part of the Play for the Planet Alliance and Play4Forests, which is part of the United Nations’ climate and forest partnership (UN-REDD).
Players had until Mar. 25 to unlock the trophy or until the number of needed trophies unlocked was reached.
The Arbor Day Foundation chose the reforestation projects located in Lassen County, Calif., Torreya State Park in Liberty County, Fla., and the Douglas County Forest in Wis., as the beneficiaries of the project.
Ben Wilinsky, the Director of Partnerships and Innovation at the Arbor Day Foundation, said that the goal was reached and that all 288,000 promised trees have been planted across the forests.
"In each of [the forests] there are different species of trees that are appropriate," Wilinsky said. "And specific species were planted specific those landscapes."
Arbor Day Foundation CEO, Dan Lambe, said in a LinkedIn post that Sony found a creative way to advance the goal of “planting trees and doing something great for the planet” with the partnership and the release of Horizon Forbidden West.
“We are proud to be a part of this innovative way to translate online actions into real life benefits for the planet and our communities,” Lambe added in the post.
Play4Forests’ website currently has an available petition for people to sign to bring forest protection to the attention of world leaders.
Currently, the website has 44,337 supporters and says that 1 million signatures will get the petition to world leaders at the COP27 summit.
Wilinsky said there have already been other initiatives similar to the one with Horizon Forbidden West that are in the works for the future.
"[Game developers] are always seeking ways to use trees and create more environments and incorporate that into the games," Wilinsky said. "We already are working in a lot more ways than just Horizon Forbidden West."