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)




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

What is Habitat the Game?

Here is a video that explains Habitat in 3 minutes.

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!!

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

Australian environmental app ‘Habitat the Game ’ nominated for iKids Award 2015

Australian production company Elevator Entertainment has secured international recognition for its environmental mobile app, Habitat the Game, with a nomination for a 2015 iKids Award.

The third-annual iKids Awards are part of the international KidScreen Summit held in Miami. The Awards recognise and celebrate the market’s best digital media products and platforms for children. Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony taking place February 24, during KidScreen Summit 2015, which will be held at the InterContinental Miami from February 23 to 26.

Habitat the Game, an Australian developed and produced environmental and social change app, was officially launched in New York in May, marking its international debut supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Rainforest Alliance.

Created by Elevator Entertainment, Habitat the Game has been in development for over four years and was the recipient of funding from Screen NSW’s Interactive Media Fund and Screen Australia’s Interactive Gaming Fund. In 2010 Habitat was nominated as a finalist for Content 360 at MIPTV in Cannes.

Elevator Entertainment founder, Kylee Ingram said, “we are delighted to receive this global support of our project from KidScreen. To be included in such a talented and progressive group of nominees is validation that our environmental message is being heard.”

Habitat the Game is shortlisted in the category for KIDS (6 and up) for Best Learning App (Smartphone) with other nominees: MY:24 (Australian Children’s Television Foundation) and Plum’s Photo Hunt (WGBH)

Based on a Tamogotchi styled interface, 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.

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.

The shortlisted entries will now be reviewed and assessed by panels of professional judges, including: Liz Kline (GlassLab), Lauren DeVillier (Disney), Chris Bishop (PBS KIDS Digital), Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times), Eric Huang (Made in Me), Amy Kraft (Monkey Bar Collective), Dave Schlafman (CloudKid), Beau Teague (Cartoon Network Digital), Susan Miller (Cupcake Digital) and Anne-Sophie Brieger (Sago Sago).

About Habitat the Game

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

Habitat stamping at Conservation Week in New Zealand.

Wellington was awash with kids on the weekend – they were attending DOC’s Conservation Week Event.

The kids made pledges for environmental actions and they posted them on the board!  They loved being able to collect the pins, and the Habitat stamp was a huge hit.

Stay tuned as we will be adding some of these pledges to our game.

Below are some snaps taken at the event:

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Habitat launches curriculum materials

We have just launched our Sustainability Learning Guide, it is based on Habitat the Game, and has been designed to engage and inspire students, teachers and the wider community to play Habitat and take personal and community actions on sustainability. This guide is a dynamic and interactive resource that can be used to extend sustainability actions beyond time in the classroom and while looking at screens.

It has been created for years 3,4,5 and 6.

The methodology used to develop the Guide included collaboration from a wide range of stakeholders including teachers, students and environmental educators from Australia. It links to the National Australian Curriculum. Many of these activities have been inspired by existing materials created by the BBC, NatGeo, The Coal Loader Sustainability Guide and NASA.

Sustainability is one of the core curriculums in the National Australian Curriculum. Download the link here:

Habitat Unit plans

This guide can be used as a 10 week unit or individual plans. When using the individual plans it is valuable to download the whole learning guide below.

Habitat the Game Learning Guide – offers a full Version of the guide that includes all of the Lesson Plans.

You can see the individual unit plans on our main website at:

Let’s evaluate the game

Can a game change behaviour?

We are looking for teachers to help us collect some data

We would like you to help us answer a couple of questions:

Does the game Habitat increase the practice of environmentally friendly behaviors by players of the game?

Does the game Habitat encourage children to spend more times outdoors?

Calling all teachers!

Calling all teachers!

If you are interested in joining the study please contact me at
kylee (at)

I look forward to hearing form you. Base line data collection is fun!

With thanks,


Habitat is on the Map – Find the Virtual Pins

Habitat the Game Virtual pins

We have created a picasa file, a gallery of the Habitat pins showing where they are located in the world. You can view the gallery here:

It is a public map so feel free to share.

Habitat the Game Virtual Pins

Habitat the Game Virtual Pins

The pin gallery is in the same spot:

The People’s Climate March from within the costume

We had a fabulous time at the People’s Climate March yesterday.  We made a couple of videos that centred on our Habitat mascot and below are some photos.

Our mascot Nara Garber who wore the bear suit in steamy conditions has shared on Facebook her experience of the march from within the costume. Below is a very unique perspective of the People’s Climate March:

Thank you all for tolerating the deluge of bear imagery in recent days. Before I take a much needed social media sabbatical and throw myself back into my Braddock edit, I wanted to share a few random observations. IF YOU ARE WEARING A POLAR BEAR COSTUME…:

1. You are essentially inhabiting your own microclimate, which, yesterday, was a not a particularly pleasant one. I spent the second half of the march recalling anecdotes from troops I met in Iraq and reminding myself that I was neither in harm’s way nor saddled with 50 lbs. of gear in 130 degree heat. So, if you ever wondered what a mascot is thinking…

2. Some children will run to you and hug you as though you are the essence of all that is good in the world.

3. Other children will look at you and sob hysterically.

4. It is possible to make the NYPD smile (although not without effort).

5. Smiling for photographs is utterly pointless (and yet I did this all day…).

6. People are strangely attuned to your body language. Dancing elicits dancing; bows elicit bows; lethargy… well, you get the point.

7. Someone watching 310,000 people march by might pull you over and ask if you’ve seen Deirdre. (?!)

8. Your vision is limited both horizontally and vertically, and you are in constant danger of tripping on barricades and other people. If you are ever stepped on by a mascot, don’t take it personally.

9. You are dependent on others to keep you upright and hydrated. Thank you, Tolan, for being the best support crew a bear could wish for… and for still being willing to register for a marriage license with me the morning after.

I should also explain one more time that the “Habitat” on the bear’s shirt refers to Habitat the Game, a free app created by my friend and roommate, Kylee Ingram that teaches kids about the environment and sustainability while promoting real world actions. For more information, visit

Here’s to better stewardship of our planet 365 days a year!

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