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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

QuestaGame at Goonellabah to help save the planet

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Level 7 QuestaGame player Vanessa Eden will guide new players through the app this Saturday at Goonellabah. Photo Tree Faerie.

QuestaGame is an app game for photographing and identifying fauna, flora, and fungi. Sightings are uploaded to the app and verified by experts to gain points for players. The game leverages citizen science to help document species occurrences, adding data to databases such as Atlas of Living Australia.

QuestaGame, a global social enterprise that believes in working and playing together, to protect life on our planet for a sustainable future, was launched in 2014 in Canberra.

QuestaGame has been reported as driving citizen science by mapping biodiversity, discovering new species, and averting biosecurity risks.

The creators of the app say it is the world’s first game where players help save life on Earth and next weekend it’s coming to Goonellabah for a BioQuest in the Tucki Tucki Creek Recreation Park.

QuestaGame expert player

QuestaGame to have fun while saving the planet.

Nimbin High science teacher Vanessa Eden is a QuestaGame expert player (guide) and has been involved for a few years – she is currently at level seven. ‘I chose to help others learn about QuestaGame as I am a science educator and enjoy sharing nature with others.’

Ms Eden says there are players all over the world. ‘Most players concentrated in Australia and all sightings (with players permission) are uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia. Sightings of animals and plants help to build our knowledge of the geographical range of individual species, invasive species and new species.’

Ms Eden says players have photographed insects that have never been photographed before. ‘When individuals and communities are better able to appreciate nature, then we are more likely to act in a way to minimise harm to it.’

A fun way to learn about nature

Ms Eden says the app is a fun way for people of all ages to learn about nature and even to become experts in their chosen specialty and it’s an activity that families can enjoy together.

To date there have been 874,678 sightings and 2,125,787 verified identification and 19,090 expertise levels gained.

The events this Saturday are as easy as downloading the free app, registering to get a ticket and meeting at the creek for the 9.30am or the 10.15am session (numbers are limited).

Ms Eden says a cool aspect of the app is playing with your friends in a clan, seeing what beautiful life others have found and getting rewarded for your efforts. ‘The coolest bit by far for me is when experts identify insects that I’ve never seen before and they turn out to be really unusual.’

Vanessa will walk participants through the basics of how the app works, where to find the cool critters and how to upload them.

Each session will run for approximately 40 mins.

All individuals and families are welcome to join this guided and fun quest to observe, explore and photograph wildlife using the app.

Prior to arrival: download and install QuestaGame on your device; bring a drink bottle, sturdy shoes, sun protection and hat. All children under 13 must be accompanied by adults. Participants are asked to lease not touch any wildlife both for your and their safety.

To join this weekend’s event, visit: Eventbrite for tickets.

For more information, email: [email protected]

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