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Habitat launches on the 13th of May 2014

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Rainforest Alliance on the 13th of May will launch an environmental app called Habitat the Game.

Habitat the Game launches at Central Park Zoo on the 13th of May 2014.

Habitat the Game launches at Central Park Zoo on the 13th of May 2014.

The free app is available on iOS, Android and tablet devices. In the game players adopt an endangered animal (in this case a polar bear). Players are aiming to keep their virtual polar bear health and happy. The game is designed to teach seven to 12 year olds ecologically sustainable habits. Players help their cute bear by scoring points in mini-games within the app and by completing real-life ‘missions’ in the real world, like recycling. They can also rack up points by visiting partner locations such as the locations around Central Park Zoo. The pin systems aim to get kids out doors exploring their natural environment.

Habitat worked with the team at the Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) at Sydney University to develop algorithms that measure players’ ecological footprint based on indicators like water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Habitat has based the point system in the game around incentivizing the players towards a 25% reduction in their carbon, water and land use – compared with the national average.

The app’s creator Kylee Ingram explains: “Our aim was to create a game that was entertaining but had cross over into the real world. Kids that play habitat will be encouraged to change their real life behaviors. They will not only be rewarded by their actions they will also be able to see how much they are saving in terms of water, land and carbon as both individuals and as a community.”

Features of Habitat the app include:

–        Individual animal with persistence style tamagotchi play
–        “Temple Run” style feeding games
–        Ecological footprint calculator showing players their savings
–        Challenge a friend – players can invite friends to see their progress in the game
–        Leader boards – players can see how they are tracking in relation to other players
–        Location services notify players when they are near a Habitat location
–        Pin trading scheme allowing players to swap pins with other players around the world

From the 13th of May Habitat will be available to download for FREE on all iOS, Android and tablet devices.

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