Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


UC game named one of the top 10 global sciences games

UC game named one of the top 10 global sciences games

February 13, 2014

A University of Canterbury (UC) computer game about protecting native forests has been named one of the top 10 global sciences games by a leading UK newspaper.

The Guardian paper says the new generation of online games don't just provide entertainment, they help scientists solve puzzles involving genes, conservation and the universe.

The UC-designed game Ora, listed as one of the best 10 science games, is an ecological adventure game saving the native forests of New Zealand.

Hazel Bradshaw, a UC HIT Lab NZ PhD student who designed and developed Ora, says the game is not just for geeks in lab coats but for people to immerse themselves in the game world and play to help save forests.

"Gamers are charged with taking care of a plot of New Zealand forest and protecting it from ravenous possums. They can set traps, create sanctuaries or fly aerial operations to sow toxic bait to save a virtual forest.

"The design allows the translation of complex problems into fun and engaging gameplay, with the goal of allowing the general population to get involved and contribute to serious research topics through play," Bradshaw says.

Landcare Research has teamed up with the HIT Lab NZ at UC to find a new way to present scientific research and find out how people want to manage their forests: a computer game based on real data and models of pest and tree dynamics and management options.

"Ora is a totally different way of making research results available for others to learn from. The game is based on real-life data and models of forest-pest-management interactions, putting knowledge at gamers’ fingertips in a fun-filled ecosystem adventure.

"Players’ actions tackling the complex problems of pest control will feed back into research on control strategies, with the potential to influence management decisions.

"The game is all about helping save New Zealand’s beautiful but fragile native forest from the jaws of hungry possums."

The management of vast tracts of New Zealand's forests for conservation is a complex issue, key parts of which are the need to educate people about the science on pest management and forest dynamics, engage with multiple stakeholders with conflicting values, and understand people's perceptions and aspirations for the problem and associated solutions.

To help raise money for the game, Ora's developers have released Possum Stomp, a mini game app available on iOS or Android. See: www.playora.net.

Landcare Research scientist Dr Pen Holland developed the extensive computer model of possum impacts on New Zealand’s native forests.

"One of the greatest challenges in this kind of cross-disciplinary work is finding the right people to work with, and Hazel’s game design skills with the support of the HIT Lab NZ have been essential in the process of turning pest management research into an awesome game,” Dr Holland says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Hundertwasser Art Museum: Whangarei Says Yes

Provisional results confirm Whangarei voted Option B in a landslide result for the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre project. 13,726 voted for the Hundertwasser project in a FPP binding referendum that had higher voter turnout than the last local body election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news