Salvos launch new game

The Salvation Army has today officially launched its new game, Damien’s Dash.

The game is based on a true story of a person named Damien who overcame an abusive childhood and unemployment with the Salvation Army. The motive of the game is to “battle depression, avoid violence and open doors” to help the character Damien reach the finishing line. Damien also represents other people who are struggling to get their life on track.

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According to the Salvation Army’s direct marketing director, John Herring, the aim of the game is to build the charity group’s brand awareness and what it does for younger generations.

“It’s about getting top-of-mind recall with people about the Salvation Army and its work in the community and the valuing of it,” he told Computerworld Australia.

“For many they probably won’t make a donation at this point of time, but there will come a time in their life when they’ll have a disposable income and they’ll say, ‘Yeah, I remember the Salvos and the work that they do and I want to support them’.”

The Salvation Army worked with advertising firm, Affinity Partnership, to create and develop the game.

Affinity’s managing director, Luke Brown, told Computerworld Australia that the visual elements of the game help younger generations, particularly Gen X and Y, understand and engage with what the Salvation Army does on a day-to-day basis.

“With the Salvos, their issue is that everyone’s heard of them but, and particularly with Gen X and Y, there’s not a deep understanding of what they do,” he said.

“By putting the message in a visual context, one that they can relate to, we can communicate in a fun way how the Salvos help people on a day-to-day level #8212; and that understanding is just as important as the physical donation itself.”

Brown also noted that the gaming concept offers a lower barrier to entry where players can easily “tweet and share” the Salvation Army’s message.

The concept of Damien’s Dash was in the works from February to April this year and took about four weeks to build.

It was originally set to be made for banner advertisements only, but low engagement rates with banner advertisement led to the game’s development.

“Our team picked up on the trend of gamification, and more and more corporates are starting to look into it,” Brown said.

“It was something we knew would appeal to Gen X and Y, allowing them to have fun while at the same time, educating them about the Salvation Army but not in a preachy way.”

Last month, the Salvation Army announced the overhaul of its storage and backup infrastructure due to the rapid the growth of critical data.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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