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Habitat’s English Launch

The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is bringing Habitat to England.

Habitat joins The Royal Foundation’s campaign on World Elephant Day to ensure we are all ‘United for Elephants’.

The Foundation has chosen locations around England and players will be able to  collect a special edition elephant pin.


This week we are all focusing on elephants and elephants only! There has never been a more important time than right now to show your support for elephants. 30,000 elephants are disappearing every single year, we are joining forces to stop this. Find out how you can help now!

Share pictures of your unique pin captures!

We are excited that we will now be able to trade pins with kids in England!

Team Habitat

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Habitat the Game on Instagram

We use Instagram to chat to our young players about the game and also give them environmental tips.

Check out our fun video below:

https://youtu.be/07bSHNV-cio

Habitat the Game’s Player Tutorial – Gift a Pin

Learn how to Gift a Pin to a friend.

Habitat the Game at Get Outdoors Day Colorado

Meet Habitat’s Pin Hunters and check out the awesome sunny day that we had in Denver’s City Park for Get Outdoors Day.

It is National Outdoors Month in the USA. Enjoy the warm weather and let us know if you come across any Habitat pins on your adventures. Post your findings on social media using the hashtag #HabitatPinHunter.

Interview with guest quiz writer and climate scientist Dargan Frierson

This week the Habitat team caught up with the University of Washington’s resident climate scientist Associate Professor Dargan Frierson.

Dargan was nice enough to write a couple of new questions for the game. Every time players answer one of his questions correctly they will be learning about climate science and receive Habitat points. We thought we should find out a little about what it was like to be a climate scientist.

Tell us a little about your job?

I’m an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Washington.  I do research on climate and climate change.  I lead a group of students and researchers who study questions like “Why are deserts and rainy regions located where they are?  How will rainfall patterns change in the future?”  I also teach classes in atmospheric science.  I especially enjoy teaching the big global warming class for non-scientists.  

What made you want to get into climate science?

I grew up on the coast of North Carolina, so hurricanes were a big part of my childhood.  When I was in college, Hurricane Floyd hit, which was by far the biggest one we had ever experienced.  After seeing all the destruction from that hurricane, I wanted to know whether storms like that will happen more in the future.  

Dargan Frierson and daughter Eleanor

Dargan Frierson and daughter Eleanor

What do you think is least understood about climate science?

The least understood part of climate science is not actually about the science, it’s about scientists.  Most people think that there’s a lot of disagreement about climate change, but actually over 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening and that it’s due to humans.  When you look at the scientific data about our planet, this isn’t surprising.  We have increased greenhouse gas levels by a tremendous amount, and they’re definitely causing the climate to change.  

How do you see kids engaging with information on the climate and environment? Is their attitude different from adults?

I think kids can envision a totally different future much better than adults.  So they have the inspiration and energy that is needed to build a greener planet.  

Tell us a little about why you are hopeful?

The recent expansion of alternative energy gives me a lot of hope.  For instance, the world is producing over 100 times as much solar energy as in the year 2000!  It also makes me feel hopeful to meet people who care about climate change and are doing something about it.  

Do you think games can play a role in climate change?

Yes!  When I was a kid, games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and SimEarth helped me get excited about learning about the planet.  I think games can be especially effective in teaching about climate change, where it’s often hard to see the consequences of your own actions.  This is why I was really excited to be able to contribute some content to Habitat!  

This map shows the average precipitation on Earth, something Dargan studies. The map was created by Dargan and his former student Yen-Ting Hwang.

This map shows the average precipitation on Earth, something Dargan studies. The map was created by Dargan and his former student Yen-Ting Hwang.

Habitat the Game partners with Wilderquest

Habitat is celebrating its partnership with Wilderquest. We caught up with Amy Wardrop who is WilderQuest’s Digital Project Manager for Visitor Experience and Education at the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Wilderquest pins -

Habitat the Game partners with Wilderquest

In the game Habitat rewards players for visiting real world locations. We have been working with tourism bodies such as Scotland, Western Australia, New Zealand plus National Parks and Zoos around the world. We now have 160 locations in 15 countries.

The virtual pins collected at these sites can also be traded with players around the world.

To find out more about how to trade pins you can watch our tutorial at:

Habitat the Game – Tutorial on how to trade pins

One Habitater’s story about eating ethical seafood

Yesterday we posted a picture about sustainable seafood options on Instagram:

Sustainable Seafood options

We then received a fantastic email from Rose Anthes who is in Year 6 at Canterbury Public School Sydney Australia. She is a budding, talented young writer and she sent us her short story called “No More Soup” check it out below.

Well done to Rose and if there are any other Habitaters out there that want to send us their environmental stories email us at info (at) habitathegame.com

NO MORE SOUP

 

PROLOGUE 

On the corner of a main road in Beijing, China, a tall man and his daughter are seated at a lacquered table in one of China’s most leading restaurant chains. The daughter goes to the bathroom, while the man orders the soup of the day. ‘This is delicious’ he exclaims to the waiter, “Where did you get it?” his daughter comes back from the restroom and places her hands on her father’s shoulders, determined to hear the story too.

Silvery scales glide past my sleek, huge body as I stalk my prey, a whiskered seal silently. One chomp of my colossal jaws end its tinny life and I feast on the meat, letting the bloody entrails drop into the darkness below my pride and joy, my gigantuan great white shark body and lower fins. I hunger for more, much more. The shallow, calm waters of the wide bay call me, promising easy hunting. The bay lures me, and I find myself sliding through the water in the general direction of the bay. The scent of blood enters my nose and brain, confusing me, but getting stronger at every metre I pass.

Something swift passes me by. I turn my large head and snap at it, hoping for some bigger prey. It is only a tuna and I snort in disappointment, but eat it anyway. It does little to satisfy my hunger. . A fishing boat passes atop me, darkening the water with its shadow. Inquisitive about the scent of blood, which source I have not found yet draws me in. Creating a bloody halo for the scene in front of my eyes, shafts of sunlight shine through the clouded water. A dead shark, much smaller than me lies on the sandy bottom of the ocean.

Apon inspecting closer, I see that the shark’s fin had been hacked off unprofessionally, causing it to drown. I knew that the shark had been killed recently, due to the blood still weeping from the fatal wound. That meant than the Chinese ships were still in the area. I turned and sped away into the gloom, away from the place of death and away from he bay. I made a tiny dinner of small, bony fish and stayed alert all night.

As a pale dawn light shows in the east, I set off to find breakfast. My sharp senses told me that there was a colony of seals basking in the sunlight on a rocky island to the south of the kill site. I made my way there and managed to pick of a few at the edges while the doomed seals that were destined to be eaten by me were sleeping.

After feasting on the seal’s succulent meat, I took to patrolling the ocean for the Chinese ship, ready to give them an unpleasant surprize when it came to it.

I entered the bay, sure that I was going to see that hateful ship anchored there at this hour. In stead I had a shock when I realised that the ship wasn’t there, but in stead there it was behind me, forcing me into the wide, shallow, but now deadly bay. Some of the despised men who were good shots threw a rough, but strong net over me and I struggled to get free from the dark, tarred and tough strings. Behind me the men hooted and whistled, surprized at my size, now that I had been forced to the surface. A man who was surprisingly almost half as big as me hauled me up and over the wooden rail and onto the splintery deck. One of the hated humans took a knife from a table and started to walk towards me. The keen blade glinted in his hand as he started to saw at my fin. Agony spread through my body, emanating out from the place were my fin used to be. I saw that beautiful, silvery part of my body that had been severed in the hands of greedy mankind and then, the two twin giant mountains of people rolled me off the tarp I had been lying and bleeding on and into the harsh, unforgiving sea. Laughing, they watched and did nothing as I sank in to the waves and to death, never to be seen by the greedy mankind again.

“I am not hungry anymore, father” replies the girl calmly and they leave the fancy Chinese restaurant forever

Shark Fin Soup - drawing by Rose Anthes

Habitat at the World Parks Congress

The Parks World Congress was held in Sydney this year. It is an event that occurs every 10 years and the Sydney Congress attracted more than 6,000 people from 170 countries.

We were lucky enough to speak about Habitat twice at the conference and we covered the topics of “Gaming in the Real World” and “Can technology get kids outside?”

Below is a link to the talk with a guide track. Hope you enjoying learning about how Habitat came to be!!

http://prezi.com/w7zhutojcdqs/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Habitat the Game at the World Parks Congress. How to create a Game for the Real world.

Habitat the Game at the World Parks Congress. How to create a Game for the Real world.

Habitat quote from Wellington Council

“Habitat was just what we were looking for to encourage more young people and their families in to our green spaces.

Wellington is full of beautiful parks and stunning coastline and Habitat is the perfect marriage of nature and the digital age.

Partnering with Habitat was an easy choice as it is low cost and low risk, it has a sustainable and environmental focus, allows kids to learn about their immediate surroundings and local and native wildlife, all of which are top priorities for Wellington City Council, and piques their interest on an international level.

Introducing this app in to our city has bought a lot of different organisations together to collaborate with the same vision and direction, it’s been such a privilege to be a part of and I can’t wait to add more locations in the future.”

Jaime Hayden
Innovation Officer | City Innovation | Wellington City Council

Habitat Behaviours Uncovered

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.

Habitat's Real World Actions

Real World Actions

 

 

 

 

 

Here we look at Super Scrub which asks players to reduce the length of their shower.

Super Scrub behaviour

Real World action Super Scrub

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!”

Explanation Real World Action

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.

Habitat players are rewarded for real world behaviours

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