Gaming for good, and especially social gaming for good, is all the rage. And I think there’s a lot of good reason for that. People love to play games, but why not create games that help solve real-world problems at the same time?
It’s great to see more and more cleantech and energy conservation games popping onto the scene these days. One new one, Energy Battle, reportedly “can lead to household savings of up to 45% on electricity consumption and lead to better energy-saving habits.” That’s what a study published in the Journal of Design Research has found.
Here’s more from a news release on the study:
Daphne Geelen, David Keyson, Stella Boess and Han Brezet of Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands evaluated an energy-saving game in twenty student households that gives the occupants direct feedback on energy usage, ranking of the competing teams, tips and access to the Energy Battle game. The obvious aim is to find ways to reduce energy consumption such as switching off unnecessary lights, using energy-saving bulbs and unplugging electrical equipment rather than leaving it in standby.
During the Energy Battle, the student households were able to cut their energy consumption on average by a quarter through the gamification of efficiency. However, the most efficient household was able to cut their energy use almost in half (45%). Once the game was over, energy use in most of the households increased but remained below the baseline recorded prior to starting the game.
This looks promising. The researchers next want to find ways to extend this to the target population of households with children. My guess is that children would be even better at internalizing the energy saving habits and ethos and that this could have an even greater effect if developed well for that setting. I hope to hear more about “Energy Battle” soon.
Image: Lady in Medieval warrior armor courtesy shutterstock
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