China / Society

App calls for panda protection

By Huang Zhiling ( Updated: 2014-03-07 19:39

App calls for panda protection

A high school student (center) plays the Saving Pandas game during his visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province on Friday while his classmates watch a television screen showing his moves. Photo by Huang Zhiling

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province

App calls for panda protection

Panda Special

launched the "Saving Pandas" mobile application game in collaboration with a company in Singapore on Friday.

"Fun and educational, the game raises awareness of giant panda conservation. The characters in the game, the P-5 (Pandas Five), were inspired by a group of pandas at the base. The five pandas each have their own unique identity. But together they represent a force for positive change in the world," said base chief Zhang Zhihe.

The game is themed on the heart, incorporating many teachings from the three great Chinese philosophies - Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.

The game challenges players to use their skills and powers to overcome obstacles, hurdles and enemies on unfriendly planets to save baby pandas abducted by space aliens. The panda hero or heroine collects hearts during the journey. The number of hearts collected determines the number of stars achieved at the end of each level.

"In between levels, facts about pandas help to educate players and remind all about the importance of caring for the well-being and conservation of one of the world's most loved animals," said Richard C Helfer, chairman of the Singapore-based YANUA International which launched the game with the panda base.

"Available in the Apple app store for $1.99, the game can be played on an iPhone, iPod or iPad. It can be downloaded in Chinese, English, Japanese, French, Spanish and Portuguese," he said.

Zhang said his base is happy to collaborate with YANUA on Saving Pandas.

"Using an entertaining platform is a great way to promote awareness of panda conservation," he said.

The game's marketing efforts will include an opportunity for consumers to win a trip to China to visit Zhang's base, and one lucky panda lover will participate in the Panda Keeper's program, which includes a unique opportunity to interact closely with the pandas during his or her visit.


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