Blog Archives

What is Habitat the Game?

Here is a video that explains Habitat in 3 minutes.

Habitat the Game at the People’s Climate March

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.

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.

Find out how more about the People’s Climate March

To learn more about how the location services work in the game watch the video and visit the following links:

Peoples Climate March and Habitat the Game's virtual pins

Peoples Climate March and Habitat the Game’s virtual pins

Mannahatta pins are being added to the game!

After a decade of research the Mannahatta Project at the Wildlife Conservation Society un-covered the original Ecology of Manhattan.

Manhattan then and now

Manhattan then and now

The Mannahatta project brings to life the original ecology of Manhattan prior to European settlement. It shows us that the centre of one of the world’s largest and most built-up cities was once a remarkably diverse, natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, beaches, springs, ponds and streams, supporting a rich and abundant community of wildlife that sustained people for thousands of years before Europeans arrived on the scene in 1609.

Manhattan now and recreated pre European Settlement

Manhattan now and recreated pre European Settlement

Habitat aims to bring some of the research of Mannahatta to the streets of New York and into the hands of a young audience. We hope to place over 60 virtual Mannahatta pins throughout New York – rewarding players for finding these locations, while providing some historic background information and fun quiz questions.

The Mannahatta Virtual Pin Collection - The Beaver

The Mannahatta Virtual Pin Collection – The Beaver

Players will collect the unique Mannahatta pins and they will be able to trade these pins with other players from across the country and around the world.

One of the aims of the Mannahatta project was to bring greater environmental awareness to people in New York City.  We hope the Mannahatta pins will help with this objective by encouraging kids reconnect to their natural environment. Helping them appreciate the environmental diversity of Manhattan, which supported over 45 different ecosystems, thousand of species (including wolves, black bears, bald eagles, beavers) and it was also home to the original Native American people, the Lenape.

There are currently five Mannahatta pins sprinkled around the city.

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Habitat the Game Launches

Habitat officially launched at Central Park Zoo this week.  We invited a bunch of NYC’s mommy bloggers to attend the event.

We filmed a little video of the event.

Below is the press release that will be sent out later today:

New Environmental App, Habitat the Game, Sends Kids on Real-life Missions to Save Virtual Endangered Species and Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

Habitat’s point system incentivizes players towards a 25% reduction in their carbon, water and land use

New York, NY – May 14, 2014  – The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Rainforest Alliance have announced an environmental app, Habitat the Game, during a media event in the Central Park Zoo in New York City. In an era where kids spend less than four minutes a day on unstructured outdoor play, this free app rewards kids for undertaking environmental actions and exploring the outdoors.

Designed to teach seven to 12 year-olds ecologically sustainable habits, 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.

“Kids today spend 70 percent less time outdoors than they did two generations ago,” said Courtney White, Director of Education at the Rainforest Alliance. “This app helps get kids outside while educating them about biodiversity and simple steps they can take to reduce their environmental footprint and create a healthier future for the planet.”

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.

Additional game features include:

–       Individual animal care, similar to Tamagotchi games
–       Temple Run-style feeding games
–       Challenge a friend invitations to see each others’ progress
–       Leader board to track progress against other players
–       Location services to note when a Habitat pin location is nearby
–       Pin trading to swap pins with other players around the world

“Our aim was to create a game that was entertaining, but also had crossover into the real world,” said Kylee Ingram, the game’s developer. “Kids who play Habitat will be encouraged to change their real life behaviors.”

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.

About Habitat the Game:
In the vein of the Tamagotchi persistence play craze of the 90s, users undertake actions to keep an endangered animal alive. In Habitat, game players adopt a polar bear. To keep the bear alive and healthy, players need to successfully complete events in the game, undertake real world actions and find locations. By completing these tasks players progress through levels, increasing the health of their bear. Ultimately the goal is to save the world by improving the bear’s health. Follow @habitatthegame

About Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: 

About Rainforest Alliance:The Rainforest Alliance is a global nonprofit organization that works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit Follow @RnfrstAlliance


How Habitat has been funded

Habitat has been lucky enough to receive funding from both Screen NSW’s Interactive Media Fund and Screen Australia’s Interactive Gaming Fund.

Due to the educational potential of Habitat and the importance of maintaining its integrity any commercial decisions we make with the brand have be thoroughly considered, taking into considering the impact on our players and their families.

We were advised by games marketing companies to charge for the game, create a subscription model or charge for in game purchases.  We were not keen on any of these models but we are aware of the need to create a revenue stream to keep building Habitat.

So when we started to build the location services we made a decision to try and partner with organisations that would make most sense to the Habitat brand who are already engaged with our demographic and their parents.


Our team looks at the concept of sustainability from a holistic perspective and people’s wellbeing is one of the most important pillars.

At no time in human history have children spent less time outdoors. Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours each day engaging with electronic media, but less than 4 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play. A recent British study found that children at 8 years old can identify more Pokémon characters than they can wildlife species, while the University of Glasgow recently reported a study of toddler activity that found a sample of 78 three-year olds were physically active for just 20 minutes a day. A wealth of studies report similar alarming findings.

Habitat rewards players for visiting specified locations – players receive a unique pin for finding the location and have to answer a number of educational questions.

We also saw this as an opportunity to invite partners such as tourism bodies, government environmental bodies and local councils help us pay for the pins and the ongoing build of Habitat.

So we have sold some pins to partners who are keen to engage with our family demographic. In return we supply them with a unique pin, we place their logo on the pin and we also provide them data about the number of visitors that visited the site.


Scotland tourism's Golden Eagle

Scotland tourism’s Golden Eagle

Remember we do not collect any personal data about the player in Habitat. The players sign in anonymously and remain anonymous. This data is also not supplied to our partners in real time.

Our partners are keen to be involved in an innovative world first that encourages kids to enjoy the outdoor and explore locations that they are keen to share with our players. The data will also help them plan and improve experiences at locations for our demographic.

To learn more about Habitat’s privacy policy visit:


WA Tourism's Whale Shark

WA Tourism’s Whale Shark