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 http://www.habitatthegame.com to learn more, or find the app on iTunes and Google Play. Or go to http://www.facebook.com/habitatthegame or http://twitter.com/habitatthegame
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:
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:
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?
If you are interested in joining the study please contact me at
kylee (at) habitatthegame.com
I look forward to hearing form you. Base line data collection is fun!
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.
The pin gallery is in the same spot:
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 http://www.habitatthegame.com.
Here’s to better stewardship of our planet 365 days a year!
On September 21, the day of the People’s Climate March, Habitat will place two virtual pins along the March’s Route. These pins will be one off unique pins that kids/players will only be able to pick up on the day of the march.
People who attend the climate march will be able to play Habitat and be rewarded for their participation in the march. This activity will be appealing to kids in the march with their parents.
Habitat the Game will pop two virtual pins along the route of the march: one at the start in Columbus Circle and the other at the finish at 34th Street. Players will capture these unique pins when they are within 50m of the designated area.
The pins will be branded with the 350NYC logo.
The first pin the players collect is a climate change pin where the focus of the multiple-choice will be on climate change. The second pin will be an animal pin – the three multiple-choice questions on the pin will focus on what is at stake for the animals.
Find out how more about the People’s Climate March http://peoplesclimate.org/march/
To learn more about how the location services work in the game watch the video and visit the following links: http://youtu.be/FOWUuHwLUM4
This walkthrough was written in July 2014. The game will continually be updated so look for the latest walkthrough documents.
The world’s habitats are in danger and you can help save them.
Habitat is a touch-based (phone and tablet) mobile-social game experience that combines traditional mobile-social mechanics with gamified real-world activities and imaginative play to engage kids between 7-12 years old to help protect the environment with their everyday actions.
In Habitat, the player will take care of polar bears living in Glacier Park — an arctic wildlife refuge. They’ll clean, feed, and play with the bears, maintaining the animals’ happiness, but more is needed to keep them and their park healthy. Special bear care items, park items and potentially a baby bear will become available as users earn Habitat points and eco tokens. Points and tokens are earned by completing real world missions and playing the minigames. Real world missions earn more Habitat points than the mini games. To earn maximum habitat points, real world missions prompt kids to complete activities in their homes in order to reduce their ecological footprint.
A leaderboard system will keep track of Habitat points the player earns by caring for their bears and completing real world missions. When the game starts, players will be able to view their progress relative to their friends (see privacy and security section) and the global game.
After you have rubbed the bear at the start of the game the game goes to a screen where you will fill in.
Your Bear Name
A User Name
01 Home screen
The home screen has the bear front and centre.
The three icons above the bear represent the three areas of bear health. Players need to keep these in balance to keep the bear healthy. The bear has a number of different levels of health. Like a tamagochi the aim is to take care of the bear in a persistence play model. If the bear is not cared for it sails off.
1. The fish is the way you feed the bear,
2. The heart is how you “love your bear, and
3. The paw is where you do your real world actions.
A player presses these icons to action the activities.
Players can also navigate through to Glacier Park, Rewards and their Profile.
02 Bear Care
When a player presses the heart icon they are able to interact with their bear. They will chose to either love their bear by grooming, petting or feeding it from the options in the tray below. These interactions make the “heart” metre go up.
Kids have to do real world actions to gain the eco tokens needed to acquire more of the care icons in the tray at the bottom of the screen.
03 Mini Game – Feeding
When a player presses the fish icon they go to a “Temple Run” Style game where the player tries to collect as many fish for the bear as they can.
Once they have finished the game the “fish” meter goes up.
04 Real World Play
Clicking on the paw icon takes you to the real world play which is the unique point of Habitat. Kids can chose to do fast (daily) or slow (weekly) missions.
Each of these missions are backed up by algorithms from Sydney University who are measuring the kid’s savings in terms of water, land and carbon saved. By completing real world missions the parks health remains high. If real world missions are not completed then the parks health falls into neglect. The parks health is visually reflected in the game.
These quick missions are a mixture of quick actions ie turning off a light and answering quiz questions that are about their bear or about topics relating to their real world actions.
Players can do harder missions where they plot their behaviours across a week.
They will receive daily reminders to log their behaviour for the day.
If they complete one of these missions they level up and unlock a secret mini game.
05 Profile Page
The players are able to see a number of things on their profile page:
- Their savings – how much they have saved in terms of water, land and energy
- A Leaderboard – players will be able to see where they stand in the overall rankings and amongst their friends.
- They are able to invite a friend to join the game.
- Players will also be able to see their Habitat points, eco tokens, bear health, park health and their bear photo album.
Players head to the rewards page which acts as a shop where they can spend their eco tokens.
They can add items to love, groom and feed their bear in the bear care screen. They can also buy power ups to help them in the feeding mini game, such as a magnet to attract more fish.
07 Glacier Park
Players can see a wider shot of where their bear is in glacier park. They can also see a couple of other bears roaming around.
Players earn achievements items each time they level up and can add these as structures in their glacier park. By placing an item in the park they are rewarded with an animation of their bear interacting with the achievement item. Achievement items include a slide, swing, hot tub, deck chair and a castle.
Players are trying to make their bear grow and they will get a baby bear once they have levelled up enough times. See below.
- Completing a weekly real world mission
After players continue a real world mission for a week, they wil be taken to a bonus mini game where the bear runs across the top of the ice.
- Level 7
When kids get to Level 7 they receive a baby bear. They grow this bear with its parent until the parent leaves the screen heading to the family photo album and the baby bear grows up and becomes your main player.
To activate the bears “breeding” the player needs to go to glacier park and click on their bear with the hearts over it. The two bears then “date” and a sequence of images show them playing together, living together and ends with the presentation of their baby bear.
08 Trading Pins
There are currently over 150 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.
To trade with someone press the trade pins button
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.
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 150 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.
Captain P is my Habitat user name. I have 3268 Habitat points which places me in 45th position on the leader board. A couple of weeks back I received an email from 7 year old Madeline telling me she loved the game and she was top of the leader board with over 5000 points.
I can’t see Madeline from my position but I am sure she has racked up many more points by now.
When players sign in we are all asked to sign onto the honour system by ticking a box that says we promise to tell the truth about our real world missions. So there is no way for us to verify if players are lying about what they have done in the real world but I am able to tell you about what I have achieved in the month I have been playing. I have tried to be as accurate about my behaviours as possible and according to my profile I have saved:
– 240 buckets of water,
– 103.8 feet of land, and
– 5181 balloons of carbon.
So what does this mean? It is the team at Integrated Sustainable Analysis at Sydney University who have up with the algorithms and our measurement tools.
The number of buckets represents the litres of water based on an averaged sized 10 litre bucket or 2.64 gallons.
The number of footprints represents the area of land that a player has NOT disturbed by their actions. The measurement is based on a typical human footprint area of 300 cm2 or 47 square-inches.
The number of balloons represents the volume of greenhouse gas emissions measured in terms of volume of C02 gas, 1 kg or 2.2 pounds.
Remember all of these actions are based around rewarding players when they are under the national average.
So if we add all of my measurements up I have saved:
– 2,400 Litres of water or 576 Gallons of water
– 31,140 cm2 or 4,878.6 square inches of land
– 5181 kg or 11,398.2 pounds of carbon
I could keep calculating to tell you that each gallon of gas you put in a car produces 14 pounds of carbon dioxide. My behaviours equate to about the equivalent savings of over 800 gallons of gas.
Although we can never verify the actions of our players, right now we have a couple of thousand kids playing and collectively they have saved:
Community Saved Water Buckets: 32703.48
Community Saved Soccer Fields: 882965.09
Community Saved Light bulbs: 2935397.98
And who said kids can’t make a difference? It is going to take top down and bottom up approaches to address global issues like climate change and we need our kids to know they can be part of the solution.
We are keen to know what you have saved and what that equates to. Please share your profile with us on Facebook:
To learn more about how Sydney University came to calculate these savings go to our previous blog post: