NEC Creates Online Game to Make Monitoring Power Consumption Fun


Image via Pink Tentacle

For some of us, monitoring our power consumption is already a lot of fun, simply because it's a personal challenge. But for most people, it's a chore worse than balancing the check book. That's precisely the reason so many start-ups are working diligently to come up with ways to make monitoring energy use simple, easy, and interesting. NEC, a company always looking for a greener way, has worked with BIGLOBE to come up with an online game that helps spice up tracking your consumption.

Based on the degree to which users actually reduce their carbon emissions, they are awarded "eco-points" that can be exchanged for virtual soil, water, flowers and grass in a nature restoration simulation game.

Participants can also view their progress in the form of a game called "Carbon Ball," which features dung beetle avatars in a "carbon ball" rolling contest. The distance each household's dung beetle travels is based on how successful they are in reducing power consumption.

This would probably be a lot more interesting to the kids than the adults, which might actually be more beneficial to the family and the planet. Getting the younger generation to care about conserving power can not only spur the parents into also being more energy efficient, but can hopefully instill habits in the children that'll last into adulthood. Will a dung beetle rolling contest spark that? Well, maybe... It's certainly more interesting than graphs and charts.

Right now a three-month test of the program is underway in the homes of 100 NEC employees. After they get a chance to play with it a bit, the company will devise a plan for launching it for businesses and consumers' homes.

Via Pink Tentacle
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