Home / China / Melting pot

Mobile game gets a grip on sustainability

By Chris Davis | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-10 07:11

Disposable chopsticks are about as everyday as everyday gets. Who thinks twice about breaking them open, pinching up our sushi or noodles and tossing them out with the trash.

A young "green" entrepreneur in England was grabbed by some statistics he came across.

China produces 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks a year, Xinhua News Agency reported. Bai Guangxin, chairman of Jilin Forestry Industry Group, estimates that amounts to 20 million 20-year-old trees.

According to The Huffington Post, based on 2004-09 statistics, it's more like 57 billion a year, accounting for the destruction of 3.8 million trees.

Any way you stack it, the numbers - and implicit deforestation - are staggering. There has to be a better way.

Mobile game gets a grip on sustainability

London resident Tudor Finneran, 20, has decided to try and get the message out - to younger people in particular - through a mobile game app. Chopstick Champion is what he's come up with.

"The basic idea is to educate users on the negative environmental factors of wooden/one use or disposable chopsticks, from the demand of wood to the manufacturing process," he said, "but through appealing and fun gameplay."

Players are presented with a historical character (Confucius, Ghengis Khan, Ho Chi Minh, Katsumoto) who they have to feed. They select three dishes from a menu that includes delicacies like exotic caterpillars and melon seeds. And the clock starts.

Using the two-finger zoom move on a pair of animated chopsticks to grab a piece of food from the plate, players move the eats piece by piece to the character's mouth.

The catch is that each character benefits most (more points) from dishes that are from their regional cuisine - so a little biographical research on the accompanying social media ups the rewards. So players learn about China's history. There are 39 levels.

The app features pop-ups such as: "Environmental Notice - Please think about the supply chains and production methods of all non-sustainable and non-renewable products." So players learn about the environment. (It's in multiple languages too).

Stage One of Chopstick Champion, which is already available in Apple and Android stores, is in the process of being reviewed by Chinese authorities to go in the iTunes store in China.

Finneran, who describes himself on LinkedIn as "the hardest working person you'll ever meet," is already looking ahead to Stage Two, "which will really focus on the case study of deforestation due to non-reusable chopsticks."

It's his first app on the "market", he said, but he is working on others over the next few months "to educate a massive audience on these problems and eventually lead to some positive change.

"Having a passion for the environment and still not seeing the necessary changes that need to be made," he said, "I am doing my best to utilize apps/tech to promote a necessary change and lay the foundation for my future business."

That business? A full-time "eco-entrepreneur" who leads "the world in the right direction through informative gameplay or tech services."

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349