Imagine playing video games created by Linkin Park and creating enviromental change because of it? Welp, you can actually do it!
Introducing LINKIN PARK RECHARGE (or LP RECHARGE), a new game you can play on Facebook that spreads awareness about the environment and sustainable energy. Why energy? Because 1.3 billion people in world have no access to electricity. In the game, humans have destroyed all our natural resources and machines have come into power. Sounds like some movie starring Will Smith, right?
Along with playing this nail-biting new game, Linkin Park is hoping you'll join their org Music for Relief, which helps disaster relief, and their program, Power the World, which is specifically about sustainable energy. To learn more about this important new game, MTV Act spoke with Linkin Park about it. And while you're reading this interview, listen to MTV's stream of LP's new album, Recharge, before it hits stores on October 29.
Listen to Linkin Park's Recharged album.
ACT: What was the inspiration behind the game LP Recharge?
LINKIN PARK: The inspiration was just our interest in video games. The six of us for the most part grew up playing, starting with Atari and the first NES consoles and always being into that, some of us probably more than others. Video games got us also through the first five years of our touring.
ACT: Which video games did you guys play the first five years of touring?
LINKIN PARK: We played a lot of "Halo." Rob was actually our resident expert at that. Never play against a drummer in a first-person shooter game. He’s way too coordinated with multiple things going on at once.
We found that our love of gaming is shared by our fan base, so we combined it with the fact that we have a ton of Facebook followers. We figured it might be really fun to have a Facebook game, as a way for fans to communicate in that medium, since they're already there.
ACT: Can you talk about the premise of the game?
LINKIN PARK: The game is set in the not-too-distance future. It’s basically a future where the access to energy is almost completely gone and there is a new race called the hybrids, a kind of computer humanoid. So you're basically joining the resistance and in the process you learn about sustainable energy. Almost in the context of the game but also in real word applications as well and through the process of the game you can actually buy in-game things that relate to real word initiatives. There’s a Solar Suitcase initiative in Uganda, there’s Soccket by Uncharted Play that we're working with, which is a generator soccer ball, all these different renewable energy projects that are going on. So you not only learn about them and share them with your friends in the course of playing the game, but you also have opportunities in a real way to get involved and contribute.
ACT: How do people give back while playing the game?
LINKIN PARK: The game has Facebook credits, which is the currency you have to use with a Facebook game. Once you decide you want to buy the Solar Suitcase, you buy this item for your character and you get more enhancements and more attributes, which allows you to move faster in the game and also information pops up about the item, like the Solar Suitcase. So it’s a layer of information and also, fundraising and the third layer would be that you literally have to be energy efficient within the game in order to proceed. If you get really good in the game, you can unlock our characters in the game and play as us.
ACT: Do the avatars actually look like you guys?
LINKIN PARK: The avatars are actually a little more handsome than we are in real life.
ACT: Speaking of the video game, you guys have made several albums through your career. What’s the difference between developing a video game and developing an album?
LINKIN PARK: Well, we're much more hands-on when we’re making an album. In the video game world, it was much more fun to watch experts developing the game and kind of see what they do on their side. We obviously were able to contribute some stuff musically and in the video game world it takes a lot longer to make a video game than an album. There’s a lot going on. So it was fun for us to be engaged in the process and craft a game that was right on topic with what we wanted to do. We’re actually in the process of starting to make a new record now.
ACT: Which other musicians do you admire for doing really great things in the world?
LINKIN PARK: Jack Johnson. He does a lot for the environment. Just looking at the impact of how global warming is affecting the ocean and obviously changing the temperature of the water which has a horrible chain reaction. So we know he's very involved in a lot of that. The Dave Mathews Band is extremely involved with the environment, so we're also fans of them.
We've always been impressed with Bono and U2. It’s cool to be able to see the path they’ve taken in their progression and journey as a band and to see them using that to try to affect as much positive influence that they can. It’s great.
ACT: It’s as important to Bono as his music is. It seems the same way with you guys.
LINKIN PARK: I think they do a good job of blending it in a lot ways. With any artist, your best work is going to come from things that inspire you. It really makes a lot of sense for us to incorporate passion, whether that’s in your charity work or different things like that, but to incorporate it in creative ways into what you’re doing.
There’s not many bands that incorporate their philanthropic work into an actual live show. It’s an emotional experience. The music is happening and U2 is able to introduce what they’re doing into a show and tie that with emotion is incredible. Not many artists can do that. We’re learning a lot from what they’ve done in the past.
ACT: Linkin Park is the most popular band on Facebook, with 57 million fans. If all these people could get together and do one good thing, what would you want it to be?
LINKIN PARK: There are so many good things they could do. 57 million people are in the process of becoming aware or are already aware of this energy issue that they can spread the word to their friends. The solution really comes in the power of numbers and people being aware and starting to sign pledges and influencing government and large corporations to make a difference. We also need the support of government and corporations because it's a problem that is moving quickly and we definitely have to get the big players involved to make changes very quickly.
Interview conducted by Alexis Tirado.