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Habitat launches in Canada

It’s Earth Day and the Royal Ontario Museum is launching Habitat in Canada! There will be five new Habitat pins to be found in the museum. Canadian players will be able to trade the local pins they find with other players around the world.

photo_3_aaronphillips

Aaron Philips 

We sat down with Aaron Phillips from the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity to learn a little more about ROM and what they have planned.

Tell us a little about the ROM. How many kids come through a year?

  • The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the largest museums in Canada, and rather unique in that we have extensive collections encompassing not just art, nature, or history, but all three under one roof! It’s a little tricky to parse just how many kids come through – but I can say that in 2015-2016, we had 1.1 million visitors at the museum, of which 100,000 were students visiting with their classes. Add to that all the kids who participate in our camp programs, as well as all those who come in with their families through general admissions and membership, and it adds up to A LOT of kids!

Royal-Ontario-Museum.jpg

What have been some of your most popular exhibitions for kids?

  • We’ve found that children enjoy opportunities to interact with our galleries and exhibitions in diverse ways, whether through touchable replica objects, puzzles, costumes or technology. To that end, we have had great success with exhibitions featuring interactives geared towards children (and social media savvy adults) such as our recent Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano and, currently, Out of the Depths: A Blue Whale Story.

What are you doing for Earth Day?

  • This Sunday (Apr 23) we’re having a building wide Family Funday program called “Earth Matters”, where we’re bringing in a number of ecology-, environment- and citizen science-oriented organizations to encourage our visitors to take action to better conserve and preserve our planet (which includes introducing them to Habitat the Game, of course!) it will be a great opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn more about environmentally-minded organizations and how they can themselves take action towards greater sustainability.

How will kids be using Habitat in the museum?

  • They’ll be using it as a new way to further explore and discover some of the iconic specimens in our biodiversity galleries and exhibitions. I’d also like to think that as they complete challenges, they’ll be thinking about how the sustainability of their actions relates to the biodiversity on display. I hopeful we’ll eventually see us finding ways to leverage some of the additional learning materials developed for classroom settings by adapting it to Canadian curriculum as well.

Why have you chosen Habitat as a partner?

  • Biodiversity programmes at the Royal Ontario Museum strive to help our public better understand nature and to prevent its loss through communications, research, citizen science, and community engagement. A very significant portion of our visitors are kids, and engaging them in meaningful discussions about ecology and environmental issues is a major part of our mandate. We can see that the team behind Habitat feel the same, and believe that Habitat will be an excellent addition to the means in which we connect with youth.

How do games and interaction fit in with your gallery?

  • Taking inspiration from our close working colleagues in the Hands-On Biodiversity and Discovery galleries, we know that facilitating inquiry-lead, hands-on discovery of our specimens and objects in the Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity is an absolute must for meaningfully engaging visitors (of all ages).
  • Furthermore, over the last few years our gallery has also been proud to support our ROM Game Jam program by hosting the ROM Arcade. The ROM Game Jam sees roughly 100 video game developers invited into the Museum and, working in teams, building a video game inspired by some aspect of our research and collections. Each year, the ROM Arcade is the testing ground for a select few of these games, where visitors/players can critique and share feedback with the developers, collaborating with them on improving the games.

How interested do you think kids are about the environment/climate change?

  • In our experience, we’d say “very”! Most children have a deep-seated love of nature, of respect for wild creatures, and wonder at the “endless forms most beautiful” (and weird) that inhabit our world. And they also have very strong feelings about what is “fair”. And so as they become increasingly aware of the various environmental challenges we face as a global society, their desire to do something is strong.

 

New Pin Locations

Here is a table that shows the countries where our 149 pins are currently located.

We are continuing to add locations.

The aim is to create a local/global experience. Kids learn about the species, plants and areas that are local to them and trade their pins with other kids globally.

Habitat the Game at Conservation Week

It’s easy to add more pins so reach out to us on Facebook , Instagram or Twitter and let us know where you would like to explore. Create a Habitat pin scavenger hunt in your neighbourhood!

Pin  Countries
Highland Cow Scotland
Golden Eagle Scotland
Red Squirrel Scotland
Red Deer Stags Scotland
Scottish Wildcat Scotland
Nessie Scotland
Capercaille Scotland
Pine Marten Scotland
Osprey Scotland
The Cobbler Scotland
Tian Tian Scotland
Gannet Scotland
Hen Harrier Scotland
Northern Lights Scotland
Stone of Destiny Scotland
White-Tailed Sea Eagle Scotland
Standing Stones Circle Scotland
Thistle Scotland
Grey Seal Scotland
Otter Scotland
Shetland Pony Scotland
Kangaroo Paw Australia
Black Swan Australia
Dolphins Australia
Quokka Australia
Grass tree Australia
Whale Shark Australia
Numbat Australia
Western Grey Kangaroo Australia
Western Blue-tongue Skinks Australia
Thylacoleo Australia
Gurrabal Australia
Clown Fish Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Papua New Guniea, Solomon Islands
Red Kangaroo Australia
Fallow Deer England, Ireland, Iceland
Black Cockatoo Australia
Bald Eagle USA, Canada
Manta Ray USA, Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, Japan
Saltwater croc Australia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia
Brown Bear USA, Canada, Russia, China, Sweden, Finland, Norway
Bison USA
California Sea Lion USA, Mexico
Dolphins Australia, USA, Mexico, Guatemala
Tundra, Polar Bear USA
Sasha, Amur Tiger USA
Indy, California Sea Lion USA
Betty, Grizzly Bear USA
Houdini, King Cobra USA
Dexter, Magellanic Penguin USA
Cortez, Red-Ruffed Lemur USA
Opal, Silvered Leaf Monkey USA
Tuti, Western Lowland Gorilla USA
Kenya, White-Throated Bee-eater USA
Leo, Baby Snow Leopard USA
Jalak, Bali Mynah USA
Charlie, California Sea Lion USA
Dash, Gentoo Penguin USA
Diver, Scaly-Sided Merganser USA
Zoe, Snow Leopard USA
Biru, Red Panda USA
Sid, Babydool Sheep USA
Dori, California Sea Lion USA
Anura, Dart Poison Frog USA
Binda, Dingo USA
Drummer, Emu USA
Kobo, Hamadryas Baboon USA
Dakota, American Bison USA
Spangles, Andean Bear USA
Mable, Hyacinth Macaw USA
Mags, Pronghorn USA
Cleo, Puma USA
Duke, California Sea Lion USA
Nuka, Pacific Walrus USA
Jacob, Sea Otter USA
Ocellated Turkey Guatemala
King Vulture Venezuela
Kapok Tree Brazil
Tapir Brazil
Jaguar Guatemala
Leafcutter Ant Costa Rica
Giant anteater Honduras
Black howler monkey Belize
Red-Eyed tree frog Nicaragua
Amazon River dolphin Brazil
Green Anaconda Venezuela
African Elephant Kenya
Scarlet Macaw Mexico
Monarch butterfly Mexico
Ruby-throated hummingbird Peru
Blue Morpho Butterfly Costa Rica
Cacao Tree Ecuador
Banana Honduras
Tea plant China
Pineapple Brazil
Flying fox Australia
Rainbow lorikeet Australia
Koala Australia
Humpback whale Australia
Crayfish New Zealand
Silver Fern New Zealand
White Kiwi New Zealand
Hihi New Zealand
Tuatara New Zealand
NZ Fur Seal New Zealand
Octopus New Zealand
Blue Cod New Zealand
Starfish New Zealand
Little Blue Penguin New Zealand
Sasa, Sun Bear New Zealand
Black Oyster Catcher New Zealand
Brown Kiwi New Zealand
Long Finned Eel New Zealand
Kaka New Zealand
Kereu New Zealand
Beaver Mannahatta USA
Bald Eagle USA
Black Bear USA
Puma USA
River Otter USA
Kiani, Orangutan Australia
People’s Climate March USA
People’s Climate March USA
Tasmanian Devil Australia
Giant Panda China, Hong Kong
Polar Bear USA, Canada, Russia, Greenland, Norway
Amur tiger Russia, Korea,  China
King Cobra India, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam
Magellanic penguin Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands
Red Ruffed Lemur Madagascar
Silvered Leaf Monkey Malaysia and Borneo
Western lowland gorilla  Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
White-throated bee-eater Senegal and Uganda
Baby Snow leopard Nepal, India, China, Russia, Pakistan
Bali mynah Indonesia
Gentoo Penguin Falkland Islands, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand
Scaly-Sided Merganser South Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Russia
Snow Leopard Nepal, India, China, Russia, Pakistan
Red Panda Bhutan, China, Myanma, India, Tibet
Poison Dart Frog Bolivia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Panama and Hawaii
Dingo Australia
Emu Australia
Hamadryas baboon Jordan,Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Eritrea to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia
Andean Bear Panama, Venezuela,Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina
Hyacinth Macaw  Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay
Pronghorn USA, Canada, Mexico
Puma Canada, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile
Pacific Walrus USA, Canada, Greenland, Russia
Sea Otter USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, Mexico
Sun Bear India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Laos, China

Habitat The Game’s biggest update yet!

Happy New Year Habitaters! We are hitting 2017 with force, starting with our largest and most significant update since the launch of Habitat the Game.

Habitat has always strived to connect our players to nature by encouraging them to get out and explore the world. Yet, we would be lying if we said we had not been inspired by Pokemon Go’s ability to get people outdoors.

That inspiration has led to a revamp of our unique pin system. Until today each pin would only appear in a single location. Now we can spread pins more widely, reaching more players.

habitat-map-usa

Pin locations encourage players to explore their natural environment, from parks to waterways to urban green spaces. Players can collect pins that represent animals, locations or plants in their local areas and learn all about their pin.

These local pins can then be traded with other players from across the planet!

Our unique pin system incorporates exercise, education and gaming in the real world.

This new update combined with our recent surge in player numbers (15,000 in one day!) sets us up for a brilliant 2017.

We look forward to hearing from our players in the coming weeks! Please let us know places you think pins should appear in your neighborhood.

 

 

Habitat the Game is heading to the “Inspiring a New Generation Summit”

 

The summit will host 200 participants from across the globe. The attendees are meeting in West Virginia with the aim to develop a North American Framework for Action to inspire a new generation to experience nature.

Over the past four years we have developed software as part of a social game that rewards players for heading outdoors, colleting virtual pins and trading them with other players in the game.
To date we have worked with international partners including Environmental Organizations – lead by the WCS and the Rainforest Alliance, National Parks, Zoos and Tourism bodies to identify locations for players to visit (now in 16 countries) http://www.habitatthegame.com/pins/

Here are some articles about the experience Habitat created from parents perspective:

http://blog.doc.govt.nz/2014/09/25/habitat-game-kids-app

http://mommypoppins.com/habitat-fun-app-kids-explore-central-park-zoo-nyc

And some articles about the App –using games and technology to get kids outside:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-chameides/the-art-of-games-dialing_b_5399258.html

http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/stories/5-apps-to-teach-kids-about-nature-and-sustainability

Through the app we can see where kids have been exploring. This map shows the kids in both Wellington NZ in the last 90 days and the pin locations:

NZ MAP HABIATAT CU

Habitat the Game Virtual Pins

Habitat the Game Virtual Pins

We are looking forward to the summit to exploring what the next steps may be. Can we expand our partnerships to reach more kids around the world? Or should we be looking at using the technology as part of a new platform?

We know technology is just one way we can inspire the next generation to get outdoors and I am looking forward to brainstorming the ways in which we may inspire this next generation.

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 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

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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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) habitatthegame.com

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

With thanks,

Kylee