Game Over, Malaria: Nothing But Nets and plyfe Join Forces to Fight Deadly Disease
Innovative partnership between tech start-up plyfe and United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign gives online users a chance to have fun and help fight malaria
Washington, D.C. — July 10, 2012
The United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign has teamed up with internet start-up plyfe, a platform that provides incentives to users that engage with social media, to help online gamers help others. The pioneering partnership produced an online game in which users not only had fun and earned prizes, but advocated for global malaria prevention to commemorate World Malaria Day.
Malaria is a global health crisis, yet many do not know that the disease kills 600,000 people each year – most of them children under the age of five. Users playing the Nothing But Nets and plyfe game earned points towards a chance to win tickets to Disney’s “The Lion King” on Broadway through a partnership with The Nederlander Organization. At the same time, players learned about malaria, Nothing But Nets, and how to join the fight against the disease.
“This partnership is a revolutionary way to engage new audiences to join the fight against malaria,” said Chris Helfrich, Director of Nothing But Nets. “Through gamification, we are reaching people who might never have learned about malaria before. We hope this creates a model for other humanitarian organizations to build on.”
After eight months of beta testing, plyfe is rolling out in a big way, launching nearly 20 different games with an array of partners. In recent weeks the platform went international, unveiling a game in Indonesia. During the Nothing But Nets partnership, more than 2,000 users played the game, more than doubling the number of people “Talking About” the campaign on Facebook.
Since Nothing But Nets launched in 2006, the campaign has distributed more than 6 million life-saving bed nets to families in Africa.
“We are proud to see plyfe being used for social good,” said Mateen Aini, Co-founder of plyfe. “By incentivizing engagement with social media through prizes, we are giving brands and charities a chance to build meaningful connections with users.”
The partnership between plyfe and Nothing But Nets is one of the latest examples of the growing movement translating gamified online activities into real-world social action. kuuluu Interactive Entertainment AG just unveiled a social game, Recharge, at Rio+Social, developed in collaboration with the band Linkin Park to promote sustainable energy. The UN Foundation also supports the forthcoming transmedia project and Facebook game, Half the Sky, based on the eponymous book about empowering women and girls by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Several years ago, Nothing But Nets created “Deliver the Net,” a game designed to immerse players in malaria prevention efforts. The Nothing But Nets-plyfe game’s focus on malaria education and advocacy makes this partnership unique.
A child dies every 60 seconds from malaria, spread by a single mosquito bite. Bed nets are a simple, cost-effective tool to prevent this treatable disease. Just $10 sends a net and saves a life.
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
Founded in 2011, plyfe (www.plyfe.me) is a social amplification platform that incentivizes users with rewards for actions that add value in a digital community. Plyfe gives any consumer the ability to be rewarded for their digital, social, mobile, and real-world activities (through plyfe.me or on partners' properties), by completing digital activities and competing in games to earn points that can be redeemed for real prizes and products. Plyfe’s mission is to make your digital life more social, rewarding, and fun, and is considered the “Robin Hood” of social media. Plyfe's headquarters are in New York City, with offices in San Francisco. Come play life with plyfe.me!