For fans of cryptocurrency and video games, the Earth is about to get a whole lot better.
Crypto and the Environment Come Together
With all the talk centering around climate change, global warming and other environmental problems, one entrepreneur is using the power and benefits of digital assets to raise awareness and rescue the planet before irreversible damage is done.
Andrew Robinson and his wife Mallika were driving through the countryside one day with their young son and his friend in the back seat. They were discussing video games, but their names were not common. Robinson says:
They were talking about these fantasy worlds and all these monster types and shields they needed to protect themselves… And we realized they had a whole taxonomy of these worlds in their heads.
The couple then began wondering:
Could we create a game in which you go out into the real world, and you’re learning the names of all these exciting creatures which, in many ways, are far more fantastical than anything you can find in a computer game?
These musings resulted in “Questa Game,” a tech startup based in Australia’s capital of Canberra. A free application for public users, the game is now available in over 40 countries and enjoys competitions all over the world.
The game is designed to help players care about their planet by identifying endangered species of both plants and animals before they become extinct. Players can take pictures of both with the app on their phones. From there, they earn points depending on the rarity of the creature or plant and their locations. Players then climb to higher levels in the game, earning special powers as they move along.
The game also serves as an educational resource. Players are encouraged to try and name the species they photograph. Those who are correct are rewarded with virtual gold. This, in turn, inspires people to show some love for biodiversity.
Kevin Thiele – director of Taxonomy Australia and a big fan of the game – comments:
Imagine yourself in a world where we had no idea what species are out there and no names to communicate with. Such a world would thwart David Attenborough documentaries and hamper conservation efforts. If the best we could say is, for instance, ‘it’s a pretty yellow creature with wings and legs,’ we wouldn’t get very far.
Kids Can Be Very Resourceful
Robinson isn’t surprised that the game has inspired kids to learn all they can about certain species, and that many of the games’ top players are under age ten.
Some have even gone so far as to discover new species. One such “explorer” was nine-year-old Boyden George, who discovered a new spider in western Australia on a school field trip in 2018. Boyden was later granted the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Science Award for his discovery.