A new mobile phone based game called MobiDog is being launched today by the RSPCA to help spread the message of responsible pet ownership.

Following the success of the cyberpet – a pet that lives on your desktop and needs to be looked after -the RSPCA decided to create a new tool for mobile phones, in conjunction with the game’s developer - Digital Communications agency Lateral.

“The next logical step was to allow people to access a similar message on their mobile phones. We decided to move away from what is already on the market, for example, another Tamagotchi-influenced experience and develop a series of games based on classic arcade games,” said Mathew Riley, Group Account Director at Lateral.

“The aim of the game is to educate the user on the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which places a ‘duty of care’ on pet owners to ensure they look after their pet,” said Helen Ball, RSCPA campaigner.

“The main aim is to convey, in an entertaining way, an animal’s prime welfare needs, which includes the need for food and water, shelter, exercise, and companionship and veterinary care when necessary. Mobidog is interactive, playful and educational, with a competitive slant which we hope will help get the message about looking after pets properly to a young audience.”

Mobidog is the first mobile phone game created by Lateral for the RSPCA.

To download Mobidog direct to your mobile phone text: GAME to 60022 or go to
www.rspca-cyberpet.com

-ends-

For more information about Mobidog please contact:

Karen Durham-Diggins
kdd PR for Lateral
T: +44 20 8989 2541
M: +44 7808 584 624
E: kdd@easynet.co.uk

Helen Ball
RSPCA
T: 0300 123 0212
M: 07962 352 996
E: hball@rspca.org.uk

Editors Notes:
Images available on request

The 5 Games
Food and Water
Based on the idea that the dog needs to be fed and given enough water, the user must lead the dog through a maze as quickly as possible and pick up all the bones before reaching the goal which is a bowl of water. The task must be completed within a certain time.
Company
In this game, different symbols show up on the screen. They are associated with different toys and the user has to press the correct number (i.e. 1, 2 or 3) as quickly as possible before it goes past a certain point. The pace increases with time. The score increases with each correct number pressed. The game ends when the user has missed 3 symbols.
A good home
A dog is trying to get to its comfy bed on the other side of the screen, and the user helps him to get there by solving a block puzzle. By moving the blocks around using the keys on the phone, a path to the bed is opened up.
To behave normally
Exercising your dog. There are four symbols on the screen, each of which corresponds to a typical dog activity. This game is based on the “Simon says” principle, where the symbols flash in a sequence. The user then has to repeat the sequence by pressing the corresponding numbers on their phone. The sequence will get longer and more difficult each time. The game ends when the user makes a mistake.
To be healthy
Fleas come down from the top of the screen to attack the dog and the user must zap the fleas to get rid of them (similar game play to Space Invaders). The score increases by the number of fleas zapped. The speed of the game increases with the score.

Animal Welfare Act 2006
The Animal Welfare Act came into effect in England and Wales in spring2007. Under the Animal Welfare Act pet owners now have a legal responsibility to meet the welfare needs of their pets. Pets’ welfare needs include: a proper diet (including water); somewhere suitable to live; any need to be housed with; or apart from, other animals, allowing animals to express normal behaviour; and protection from and treatment for pain, suffering, injury and disease.

About Lateral Net
Lateral http://www.lateral.net
Lateral is one of UK’s founding digital agencies. Established in June 1997, Lateral has evolved itself for the next major shift in the digital marketing space by repositioned itself as a strategic digital marketing agency. Lateral focuses on helping companies engage with online consumers and prosumers in the most effective way possible, helping them build long-term relations with individual consumers and communities. Lateral has launched new brand positioning strategies around Consumer Brand Ownership and Consumer Brand Control, which define how customers can engage and win customers in a consumer controlled media world.

Their pioneering expertise and professional approach has attracted recognition both within the new media industry, having been awarded several times for their work, as well as the consumer market as can be seen by their client list which includes: Faber and Faber, Lexus, Little,Brown, Hatchette Livre, Nintendo, Philips de Pury & Company and Which?

Published on: 12:00AM on 12th August 2008