The Australian Bureau of Statistics wanted to show disinterested Australians the importance of the latest release of Census data. We realised the best way to understand the true value of the Census data was to use it. So we decided to create a highly personalised experience that would make people actually want to use the data.
We took the Census data from every one of Australia’s more than 2,500 postcodes, and turned it into a game that allowed you to take control of your actual town, make decisions, and consult with locals, modelled on your neighbourhood’s real demographics. Featuring over 300 possible projects, Run That Town made statistics genuinely interesting and relevant. Within days of launch, the game was organically picked up and reviewed by sites including CNet, Gizmodo and Buzzfeed, helping it reach number 1 in the Entertainment category of the Apple App store. Hyper magazine, one of the largest gaming titles in Australia, scored it 8/10, putting it in the company of multi-million dollar AAA titles. But most importantly, Run That Town was downloaded more than 65,000 times, showing Australians just how big a role Census data plays in all our lives.