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Play ‘Zoo Tycoon,’ save endangered animals

Not only is the Xbox One launch title Zoo Tycoon a fantastic sleeper success for the young console’s game library, it also now empowers you, the gamer, to do your part in protecting the Earth’s endangered species. A new community-wide challenge will be offered every month by Frontier, the game’s developer. Once each challenge is successfully completed, Microsoft will donate a sum of $10,000 to the charity players show the most support for (via Eurogamer).

Voting is underway now on three potential challenges, one of which will go live after the selection process ends on December 31. To cast your vote, simply fire up the game and access the community page from there. The three charities are: Komodo Survival Program, Rhino Rescue, and Tiger Species Survival Program. The in-game tasks related to each challenge differ based on which charity gets the most votes, though each challenge relates directly to the connected charity.

In one challenge, Microsoft, in conjunction with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, will make a donation once 1,000 Komodo dragons have been adopted in the game. The other two challenges involve releasing creatures into the wild – 1,000 apiece of either rhinos or Sumatran tigers (depending on the winner) – in order for the donation to be made. As if you didn’t already need an excuse to spend your gaming time building an elaborate zoo and interacting with the animals there, now you can actually help save the world when you play.

Don’t be a jerk. Save the world. Play Zoo Tycoon.

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