It’s been said that today’s kids are increasingly focused on their gadgets, and see the outside as a distraction from doing the cool things they can do online, on their XBox, their laptop, and their iPhone.
So how do you find a way to get them outside in a way that doesn’t involve nagging and will increase their own desire to be there in the first place?
Bulpadok has found a way. Engage them in a way that will leverage their fascination with the iPhone, their imagination, and GPS: The Hidden Park. Bulpadok is an Australian mobile apps company who as they say, “We love Geocaching so much we blended it with Alternative Reality Gaming.”
In the case of The Hidden Park, they’ve mapped out real life parks in nine major metropolitan areas in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, overlaying a children’s fantasy adventure “alternative reality game” (ARG) on top of that, taking them (and their parents) on a grand day at the park in the process.
As the children navigate their way past real life landmarks, the app tells them where to go next. To progress further, they solve puzzles and riddles, clues to which are on the real world signs in the park. Along the way they have to take pictures of their journey, and overlaid on it will be creatures that only the iPhone (and the children) can see. It’s this interweaving of play and real world elements that will make it much more likely the children (and parents) will retain much more of their experience.
Though this game is pure kid’s play, I could see elements of its technology being used by cities seeking to find a way to engage people with historical architecture or other underutilized treasures of their area. Environmental groups could use it to develop awareness in and engagement around compromised regions in need of support/pressure on government officials.
Readers: What other ways can you see mobile technology being used to get people active in the real world for sustainable/environmental causes? Add your insight below!
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media. Who he has and wants to work with includes consumer, media, mobile apps, clean tech, NGOs, social ventures, and museums.