Surf Life Saving Queensland
There’s no need to be scared of sharks—we just need to be smart.
And learning is what kids do best, so we created an interactive, educational game for Surf Life Saving Queensland to teach primary-school-age kids how they should behave around sharks.
We had a whale of a time on this project, so let’s jump right in!
Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are promoting ‘SharkSmart’ messages to primary-school-aged children in a 12-month educational program. They asked us to develop an interactive game that educates kids about sharks and the simple things they can do at the beach to stay safe from shark-related incidents.
Kids are typically more interested in sharks than afraid of them, so we wanted to nurture that by making the game educational and fun, rather than fear based. Armed with our behaviour change expertise, we empowered them with knowledge about how sharks behave—such as their feeding times, where they live and how they hunt—so the kids can make smart choices. We consulted with primary school teachers to develop the game’s tone and language, ensuring it was as age-appropriate and engaging as possible.
There are so many ways to approach SharkSmart behaviours, so we created not one game, but two mini games with three modes.
The first game—Beach Explorer—is an open-world exploration game, set on a beach. There are items scattered across the beach—like flags, water debris and rips—that prompt questions related to SharkSmart behaviours. If the player answers correctly, they’re rewarded with a beach badge. This game is split into two modes: explorer mode and race mode.
The second game—Which Shark Are You?—asks the players questions about their preferences and human experiences that relate to the behaviours of tiger, bull, white and hammerhead sharks. Based on their responses, each player is assigned one of the four shark types and provided information about that shark.
The whole project is elevated by NWO’s trademark custom illustration and animation—which really brings the beach to life!
We really blew this brief out of the water: for a limited budget, we built two games from scratch, complete with a catchy custom theme song. Projects like these—fun and engaging but with real purpose—are why we get out of bed every morning. The whole process from conception to delivery was really collaborative with the clients, and that definitely shows in the final product.