‘Pokémon Go’ is gamifying garbage and wants your help on Earth Day

Pokémon Go may have just found a way to gamify garbage collection. In honor of Earth Day, which will be observed on April 22, Niantic, the developer behind the popular Pokémon game, has revealed that it is leveraging its impressive powers of assembly in order to help save the planet, one piece of litter at a time. Thanks to a series of partnerships with local non-governmental organizations across the world, Niantic will be able to get players to pick up trash. And the more people who engage in this altruistic behavior, the greater their potential in-game rewards.

“All trainers will receive access to a special avatar item to celebrate Earth Day and those who work together to participate in the cleanups around the world will unlock unique in-game rewards for the entire world,” Niantic explained. “If 1,500 trainers attend the events around the world, 2x catch stardust for ground, water, and grass-type pokémon will be unlocked for 48 hours. If more than 3,000 trainers participate in the cleanup events, 3x catch stardust for ground, water, and grass-type pokémon for 48 hours will be unlocked for trainers around the world.” That is to say, if you have fellow Pokémon Go fans in your life, you’ll want to incentivize them to help you clean up your neighborhood.

As it stands, Niantic has a list of 37 total events taking place across 12 different countries. In order to sign up for a cleanup event, you need only to visit Pokémon Go’s Earth Day Cleanup page. We should point out that these events are not exactly located in central locations — only one is taking place in a major city: San Francisco and its event is at capacity. Meanwhile, there are six located throughout North Carolina.

As a whole, the events are slated to last for about two hours, but Niantic has suggested that you look into the specific times for the event you’re most interested in. Although you will certainly want to start your children on an eco-friendly path at a young age, the developer has noted that the events are open exclusively to folks aged 13 and older.

“Earth Day is an incredible movement and opportunity to team up with friends and neighbors to focus on making the world and our own communities healthy and sustainable,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a statement. So if you’re looking for a good thing to do this Earth Day, Pokémon Go may just provide you with an unexpected bit of fun.

Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Gaming

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.
Gaming

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?