EdenRage Media, South Africa’s leading Immersive Entertainment specialists today launched the YOU DECIDE Alternate Reality Game (ARG) in KwaZulu-Natal for The South African Breweries Limited (SAB), in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, the National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Trade and Industry.
The multi-platform game which is targeted at about 200 thirteen- to eighteen year-old players in 54 schools for six weeks, is aimed at reducing underage drinking by creating specific behaviour changes which are achieved through experiential learnings.
“Central to any ARG is that players interact directly with characters in the game to solve plot-based riddles and puzzles in the real world, thus making the game completely immersive.” says Brett Lotriet Best, Creative Director for EdenRage Media. “For YOU DECIDE, some of these challenges are located in local newspapers, for example, where players have to find hidden codes and use their cell phones to unlock clues that take our lead characters on a journey to save their future.”
“SAB contracted us to develop an immersive experience where teenagers could be taught through positive feedback, to understand the consequences of the decisions they make today, by using well researched and documented findings in gaming and positive psychology,” continues Lotriet Best.
The YOU DECIDE game revolves around a street gang in Durban in 2022 called AboRavaza, that in the story are involved in orchestrating underage drinking, rape and murder. A resistance group called Amabutho send a time capsule back to the present day with the information and means to stop the gang from taking over. Throughout the game, players will have to solve daily clues to reveal a new way that the future can play out positively, thus showing the players that the choices they make now will affect their future.
“We are excited about this innovative and cutting-edge way of engaging South Africa’s youth about the pitfalls of underage drinking, an issue which SAB takes very seriously.” says Robyn Chalmers, SAB Head of Media and Communications.
“The outcome of the YOU DECIDE Game will provide us and our partners, national and provincial government as well as the NYDA, with a better understanding of the psychology and behavior of teenagers when it comes to underage drinking. This will further assist us as we seek to meaningfully address this issue,” concludes Chalmers.