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Digital playgrounds return to Auckland parks

Published: 8 February 2017

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Digital playgrounds return to Auckland parks

Magical Park – an app that transforms a normal park into a digital playground – is back for the rest of the year at three Auckland sites following its successful two-month trial.

Auckland Council trialled the virtual reality game from July to September last year in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer – Geo AR Games – at eight parks around the region.  

Specifically made for children aged 6-11, the app augments the real world with 3D digital images via a smartphone or tablet.

Getting young Aucklanders more active

Environment and Community Committee Chair Councillor Penny Hulse says the digital playground experiences help to get young Aucklanders more active, more often, and out enjoying Auckland’s urban parks.

“We know children spend a lot of time on their screens and this app enables them to get moving while using their devices,” she says.

“The app’s trial had some really positive results; we saw a lot of families getting out in our parks collecting dinosaur eggs or catching kittens. So we’re really excited to bring Magical Park back to three of our parks for more children to enjoy,” she says.

Two 'worlds' on offer

There are currently two themed worlds that users can download for free from the App Store and Google PlayAugmentia offers a fantasy theme, including a giant blue dragon, and DinoLand allows the player to interact with prehistoric playmates on large, flat grassy areas. Special edition levels will also be released in the coming months.

Check out Magical Park for yourself here.  

Where to play

The parks which will host the app until the end of the year are:

  1. Onepoto Domain, Onewa Road, Northcote – near the Community Hall
  2. Harbourview Peoples Park, Te Atatu Road and Gloria Ave roundabout, Te Atatu Peninsula
  3. Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush – near the playground off Stancombe Road.

Each park has a game specifically designed for it and the games cannot be played outside the designated areas within the park. The game spaces are clearly signposted and boundaries are pre-programmed to blackout and show warning signs to stop children running into hazards or onto roads. Players can go to Geo AR Games if they need game support.

Visit the Magical Park Facebook page for more information and a chance to win the game at your child’s school for two months.