7th graders create an educative game to depict the impacts of plastic pollution on oceans

7th graders create an educative game to depict the impacts of plastic pollution on oceans

“January 20, 2019 was a day to remember, where Bhuvan and I finally pulled it off and actually won the Codefest 2019!” recollects Anand.

Codefest 2019 is a platform that provides an opportunity for aspiring developers to showcase their unique talents to the veterans of the industry. Winning the first prize in the Junior Category, was a team comprising of two students in 7th grade from Oakridge International School, Anand Gopalakrishnan and Bhuvan Kasam. They created a historical Game called Guardians of the Ocean, using Python 3 and Pygame Zero. Bhuvan and Anand were able to sustain their progress with food, juice, and a healthy dose of optimism – achieving in just two days what others had only dreamt of.

 

The game, Guardians of the Ocean, is a single-player educational game which gives information about each marine organism displayed. The player controls a submarine and a claw, where he/she is required to traverse through the waterscape and “clean up the ocean” by collecting the plastic items using the submarine’s claw. Collection of each plastic item gives the player +1 point and the game ends if the player contacts any marine life. To make the game furthermore educative, clicking on any marine animal or plastic items displays information about the same. With the inclusions of boosters for points and threshold limits, this interactive game is surely an innovative way to grab the eyeballs of Generation-Z towards global issues.

When asked about their motivation and intent for the game they said, “Plastic pollution poses a threat to our oceans, this might create irreversible damage and the collapse of some of the most important food sources in the world. Inspiration for Guardians of the Ocean was that we can make a difference and create awareness. Consciousness about this issue will go a long way to saving our blue planet. Then, in a way, all of us will become Guardians of the Ocean”.

Taking their idea forward

Marine pollution remains a major problem and threatens life in the sea at all levels and these young coders want to create awareness, especially among the young generation, about marine plastic pollution. When asked about the progress of their game for the future, they said, “we aim to publish it on the Google Play store after building a second level including deep-sea life. In the game, the deep-sea will have a totally different set of marine life where many of the organisms are red or bio-luminescent. Some examples of deep-sea marine life: colossal squids, tube-worms, snipe eel, angler fish, vampire squids, etc. We also aim at having a third level where we plan on including sea birds. The submarine will then be replaced by a boat. The sea birds will include albatross, puffins, arctic terns, sea gulls, etc.”

“We would like to tell students about the game, so that we can create awareness about the effects of plastic pollution on marine life. We also want to educate them about different marine organisms through our game, while of course, having a lot of fun along the way.”

 

marine life conservation

Illustration used by Bhuvan and Anand for their presentation of the idea

Our oceans have long been used as an intentional dumping ground for all sorts of waste including plastic, sewage, industrial run-off and chemicals. Marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species of marine life worldwide including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all sea bird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. Marine pollution remains a major problem and threatens life in the sea at all levels. It is inspiring to see that our future generation have begun acknowledging these climatic breakdowns as an issue that needs urgent attention.

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