Monday, January 19, 2009

World of Greencraft

At a recent climate change conference sponsored by Stanford University, Byron Reeves, a professor there, proposed an unlikely marriage of online gaming and consumer smart meters. Instead of just displaying incremental changes in energy consumption on the homeowner’s PC as raw data, what if it were incorporated into an MMOG (for those non-gamers that’s a massive multi-player online game)?

In such a game, your energy consumption in the real world would be linked to the game world — the more energy you save, the more points you get. This demo video produced for the conference demonstrates how that might work, showing different home owners competing to have the most energy-efficient house in the virtual world.

While still a hypothetical game, it’s based on real research of human behavior. As an expert in psychological processing of media, Professor Reeves has studied the high levels of engagement people invest in games like World of Warcraft, which are avidly played by tens of millions worldwide. Players feel an emotional investment in their character, which they want to improve by achieving game goals, but the biggest rewards require a team effort.
via Earth2Tech


Rebelfish said...

Of course, the catch is that making your virtual home green does nothing for the environment. The promise on this idea rests on the users acting the same way in their actual home.

Fat Knowledge said...


I thought the whole point of this was that the virtual house used information from the real house via smart meters. That you had to make changes in the real home in order for them to show up in the virtual home. Or am I missing something?

Rebelfish said...

Oops, must have missed some of that. Okay, that makes a lot more sense now.

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