Pick Up Quick!

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New Zealand has always been a place where dreams come true, and now a little piece of New Zealand exists within Dreams. Pick Up Quick! is a new video game where you can explore virtual versions of iconic Kiwi beaches.

Like their real life counterparts, these pixelated paradises are tarnished by cigarette butts, plastic bottles and other rubbish. Players take on the role of citizen scientists, racing against the clock to gather as much litter as possible before the time runs out.

Pick Up Quick! is available to play on Dreams for PlayStation 4, and was created in a first of it’s kind ‘Gaming for Good’ partnership with UK-based developer Media Molecule. It was launched by the New Zealand charity Sustainable Coastlines as part of its Litter Intelligence project. 

The creation of the game was led by Stacey Bartlett, a 25 year old school administrator from North Canterbury. Stacey made great use of the last Covid-19 lockdown, creating the bulk of this beautiful and educational game during that time.

You can choose between two New Zealand beaches – Tokahaki Point, Kapiti Island or Tahunanui Beach, Nelson. With 45 seconds on the clock, your goal is to run around gathering as much litter as possible before the timer runs out.

Your previous high score is always saved for each location, so it’s pretty fun trying to beat your record. I have to admit though, that I spent a few rounds just looking at the scenery, chasing seagulls and saying hi to the seals – so cute! I was also super happy when I found out that you can plow straight through the sand castles – and you even get extra points for it!

I’m away from home at the moment – living in Sweden and missing New Zealand a lot! – so it was such a special experience to be able to run around New Zealand beaches and get a taste of home. Pick Up Quick! is such a great vehicle, not just for spreading awareness of our environmental impact, but in sharing our bountiful beaches with the rest of the world, something that’s even more valuable during this time of lockdowns and closed borders.

I’m such a big fan of the Dreams platform for its potential in unleashing innovation and empowering creators. Pick Up Quick! exemplifies the power of Dreams by teaching gamers about the real life issue of rubbish plaguing our Kiwi beaches. It has a great message, and you can compare your stats with how much litter was picked up at the same location in real life. Here’s hoping it will encourage people to visit nature and become Citizen Scientists for real! 

Visit https://litterintelligence.org/ to learn more about the Litter Intelligence project.

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