Can a tech game drive kids outdoors and create a desire to love nature?



There is little doubt that smartphones, tablets and other tech devices are here to stay. Young people are interacting with them for up to six hours a day. CEC member, Kylee Ingram with a grant from the Australian national broadcaster, the ABC, asked: What can we do to use these devices to engage and educate? Habitat seeks to educate and also encourage 7-12 olds to go outdoors too.

CEC Members might like to try and spread the word about a new game “Habitat” designed to teach 7- 12 year-olds ecologically sustainable habits.

Habitat encourages players to adopt an endangered animal, a virtual polar bear, and keep it happy and healthy. Players earn points through games in the app and by completing real-life “missions,” like recycling or checking in at more than 30 parks around the world, including national parks, Zoos and other iconic sites. The virtual pins collected at these sites can also be traded with players around the world.

The game was developed with support of international partners at The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Rainforest Alliance

The Integrated Sustainability Analysis team at Sydney University developed algorithms that measure players’ ecological footprint based on indicators like water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to promoting outdoor activities, the point system in the game incentivizes players towards a 25% reduction in their carbon, water and land use and shows their impact through an ecological footprint calculator.

Habitat the Game is available to download for free on all iOS, Android and tablet devices. Visit www.habitatthegame.com to learn more, or find the app on iTunes and Google Play.

To understand the elements of the game, visit www.habitatthegame.com/game-help

Kylee Ingram, CEC member who developed the game welcomes feedback and would love to work with any educators who are keen to use the app.

About the Author

Kylee Ingram is an Australian born digital content producer and socialpreneur. Starting as a documentary maker, Kylee has 15 years of production experience. Today, Kylee is focused on exploring the intersection of interactive media with the real world. Her most recent apps, Team Tap and Habitat the Game, both enjoyed global launches. Habitat the Game is available free at iTunes and Google Play.

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