Monthly Archives: May 2014
After a decade of research the Mannahatta Project at the Wildlife Conservation Society un-covered the original Ecology of Manhattan.
The Mannahatta project brings to life the original ecology of Manhattan prior to European settlement. It shows us that the centre of one of the world’s largest and most built-up cities was once a remarkably diverse, natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, beaches, springs, ponds and streams, supporting a rich and abundant community of wildlife that sustained people for thousands of years before Europeans arrived on the scene in 1609.
Habitat aims to bring some of the research of Mannahatta to the streets of New York and into the hands of a young audience. We hope to place over 60 virtual Mannahatta pins throughout New York – rewarding players for finding these locations, while providing some historic background information and fun quiz questions.
Players will collect the unique Mannahatta pins and they will be able to trade these pins with other players from across the country and around the world.
One of the aims of the Mannahatta project was to bring greater environmental awareness to people in New York City. We hope the Mannahatta pins will help with this objective by encouraging kids reconnect to their natural environment. Helping them appreciate the environmental diversity of Manhattan, which supported over 45 different ecosystems, thousand of species (including wolves, black bears, bald eagles, beavers) and it was also home to the original Native American people, the Lenape.
There are currently five Mannahatta pins sprinkled around the city.
How to trade pins. This is the article we posted on the help section of the game for kids. We have included here for parents with pictures of the screens.
Become a global trader!
We are keen to see Habitat players head outside and explore the world.
We will reward you for going outside and finding Habitat locations.
There are currently over 100 Habitat pins in 13 different countries around the world; to find the virtual pins make sure you turn on the location services and sign in.
When you are near a Habitat location you will be notified about the location and which unique virtual pin you will find.
There are a number of ways you can search for pins:
– Use the map to see the pins around you and around the world,
– By country; will show you what pins are available in each country,
– By Pin; type in the name of the pin you would like to find.
At each Habitat location there is a unique virtual pin you can collect. These pins can be traded at a later date.
When you are close enough to the pin, tap on the pin to collect. The pin is instantly added to your Pin Gallery.
For additional Habitat points answer the multiple-choice questions on the reverse side of the pin.
Collecting more than one pin
You can collect up to three of each pin at any one time. Although you do have to wait 30 minutes after collecting your first pin before you can receive your second pin at that location.
You Pin Gallery will show which pins you own, how many of each pin you have and what pins you have up for trading.
Once you have collected a pin it automatically goes into your trading list, ie the trading icon is on. You can turn off the trading icon by simply tapping it when your pin is full screen.
If another player puts one of your pins on their wish list you will be notified they would like to make a trade. You will be able to see what pin/pins they will offer in return for you pin.
You then have three choices:
– accept their offer,
– reject their offer or
– ask them to make another offer.
Trades between two players will stay open for an hour and you can trade up with 5 different players at a time.
Any pins you would like to add to your gallery can be added by tapping them on your wish list. You can find pins to add to your wish list by doing either a search by country or by pin name.
There are currently 102 pins you can collect. They are located in the following countries:
You will need to work with other players around the world to get the full set of pins.
For more information on pins you can find us on instagram at habitatthegame or twitter @habitatthegame
Habitat officially launched at Central Park Zoo this week. We invited a bunch of NYC’s mommy bloggers to attend the event.
We filmed a little video of the event.
Below is the press release that will be sent out later today:
New Environmental App, Habitat the Game, Sends Kids on Real-life Missions to Save Virtual Endangered Species and Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
Habitat’s point system incentivizes players towards a 25% reduction in their carbon, water and land use
New York, NY – May 14, 2014 – The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Rainforest Alliance have announced an environmental app, Habitat the Game, during a media event in the Central Park Zoo in New York City. In an era where kids spend less than four minutes a day on unstructured outdoor play, this free app rewards kids for undertaking environmental actions and exploring the outdoors.
Designed to teach seven to 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 the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and Central Park Zoo, as well as national parks and other iconic sites. The virtual pins collected at these sites can also be traded with players around the world.
“Kids today spend 70 percent less time outdoors than they did two generations ago,” said Courtney White, Director of Education at the Rainforest Alliance. “This app helps get kids outside while educating them about biodiversity and simple steps they can take to reduce their environmental footprint and create a healthier future for the planet.”
The Habitat team worked with the Integrated Sustainability Analysis team at Sydney University to develop 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.
Additional game features include:
– Individual animal care, similar to Tamagotchi games
– Temple Run-style feeding games
– Challenge a friend invitations to see each others’ progress
– Leader board to track progress against other players
– Location services to note when a Habitat pin location is nearby
– Pin trading to swap pins with other players around the world
“Our aim was to create a game that was entertaining, but also had crossover into the real world,” said Kylee Ingram, the game’s developer. “Kids who play Habitat will be encouraged to change their real life behaviors.”
About Habitat the Game:
In the vein of the Tamagotchi persistence play craze of the 90s, users undertake actions to keep an endangered animal alive. In Habitat, game players adopt a polar bear. To keep the bear alive and healthy, players need to successfully complete events in the game, undertake real world actions and find locations. By completing these tasks players progress through levels, increasing the health of their bear. Ultimately the goal is to save the world by improving the bear’s health. Follow @habitatthegame http://www.facebook.com/habitatthegame
About Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org
About Rainforest Alliance:The Rainforest Alliance is a global nonprofit organization that works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org. Follow @RnfrstAlliance
We have quizzed kids aged 7-12 about what environmental behaviours they recognise and can undertake. Their answers have given us a list of actions that kids will earn points for in the game and in turn we are able to tell them (thanks to Sydney University’s team at Institute of Sustainable Analysis – ISA) how much water, land and carbon they have saved.
Here we look at Super Scrub which asks players to reduce the length of their shower.
Each action is accompanies by an explanation. With Super Scrub the player learns why they should try and limit their showers i.e “limiting your shower to 4-minutes means that you only use about 80L of water for your shower, and that means we don’t have to put as much stress on our water ways and environment to meet our water needs!”
In order to earn points the player inputs how many minutes they spent in the shower. They are rewarded for every minute they save under the national average (ie 4 minutes) with an average water flow of 15 litres per minute. They are also able to tick a box confirming they took a shower instead of a bath, which gives them an automatic saving of 120 litres.
The environmental savings in Super Scrub are then calculated as savings relative to the national average and in this in this behaviour the player is saving both water and carbon (energy expended from heating the water)
The team at the ISA have worked out calculations for every one of the behaviours in Habitat the game. If you would like to know more about any of the action send us an email at parents at habitatthegame dot com