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  1. John Stewart
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  3. Thursday, October 13 2016, 09:04 AM
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ARC, AGENTS OF DISCOVERY AND FOREST SERVICE BRING INTERACTIVE GAMING TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS
 
Washington, D.C. (October 13, 2016) - Interactive, mobile gaming is coming to America’s national forests!  The American Recreation Coalition (ARC), Agents of Discovery and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are teaming up to bring educational, movement-based interactive gaming to dozens of national forest sites across the country.
 
Lifestyles and family recreation options are changing.  Opportunities for today’s youth to enjoy public lands and waters must change, too, to keep the Great Outdoors relevant.  ARC, Agents of Discovery and USFS have partnered to create an augmented reality game as diverse as the national forests which will capture the imagination of today’s youth AND make being active outdoors fun.  Discovery Agents encourages kids -- and their families -- to explore and learn about the world around them.  You have to go outside and move to play!  And while playing, you earn awards.
 
Unlike other popular augmented reality apps, Discovery Agents doesn’t require an internet connection and encourages players to become connected with their surroundings. To unlock hidden geo-triggered challenges, the players must move along routes where the game’s educational content is packaged in immersive challenges that tap into real world experiences.  It takes the interactive fun of games like Pokémon Go and applies it to the interpretive and educational missions of USFS sites.  Thirty-four sites are already on-board, well on the way to eventual goal of 60+ sites by year end!  Plans are also underway to bring Discovery Agents to other high-visitation areas near national forests, including state and private campgrounds, ski areas and visitor services areas.  Sites on the National Mall in Washington, in Los Angeles and in Texas state parks are already operational.
 
“Discovery Agents enables the Forest Service to ensure that kids are using gaming technology to enhance their outdoor experience in fun, safe and educational ways -- features which really are important to parents,” explains Mary Clark, the CEO of Discovery Agents.

Discovery Agents has the potential to be a game-changer for interpretive and educational programs on public lands and waters.  To help spread the message, ARC and Agents of Discovery are convening meetings - hosted by the Canadian Embassy - in Washington, D.C. October 27 with representatives from federal and state recreation leaders as well as partners from the travel and tourism industries and conservation and youth advocacy interests.
 
For more information on Agents of Discovery and the Discovery Agents mobile game, visit http://www.discoveryagents.net.

References
  1. http://www.discoveryagents.net

John Stewart Managing Editor - 4x4Voice - 4x4Wire - MUIRNet.net Natural Resources Consultant - California Four Wheel Drive Association - http://www.cal4wheel.com Board of Directors - BlueRibbon Coalition http://www.sharetrails.org

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