215 McCann and Minecraft Enlist Gamers to Save Coral Reefs

This summer, the Minecraft Update Aquatic is launching for players around the world, filling the once-empty Minecraft oceans with new characters, treasures, shipwrecks, and colorful coral reefs. But while the virtual Minecraft oceans are teeming with digital sea life, our real oceans are being devastated, with coral reefs shrinking and sea life disappearing.

The Coral Crafters project brings the Update Aquatic to real oceans through a series of Minecraft community-designed underwater sculptures that will serve as the anchors for a new coral reef, which, over time, will grow and sustain a new marine ecosystem. Six sculptures modeled after characters and Minecraft builds were constructed using Biorock, an innovative method that accelerates natural coral growth. These sculptures were anchored onto the sea floor off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico, in June 2018 and should continue to grow as coral colonies for decades to come.

The Minecraft community and content creators, including a classroom of students in Mexico, generated three of the six designs. The first design was voted on by the entire Minecraft community from three designs by video creator LogDotZip and the second was created by video creator StacyPlays and her community. Students from a school in Mexico, where the structures will live and grow coral, generated the third design guided by Mexico-based video creator Rabahrex. Several of these students attended the final installation of their design, which will help populate the ocean these young people will one day inherit.

Minecraft and 215 McCann are partnering with The Nature Conservancy surrounding the Update Aquatic as well. Simply by building coral in the game or by buying a custom-made content pack for The Nature Conservancy, players will trigger a donation from Microsoft and Minecraft to The Nature Conservancy. These donations will allow The Nature Conservancy to farm and plant coral throughout the Caribbean. Early on we worked with a lead scientist and marine ecologist for The Nature Conservancy, Stephanie Wear, to understand the threats to our oceans and how we can protect our oceans.

The campaign is running globally on paid media (owned and paid social). Minecraft’s Update Aquatic will be available on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices this summer.

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