We all know the reasons why we should save energy: it’s better for the environment, it’s better for our energy bills… but in our daily lives it appears to be very difficult to stay conscious of our energy usage. Prospera will show you the direct effects of your energy usage at home through a casual game.
In Prospera’s virtual environment, you can design your own planet. Make mountains, dig for water and plant vegetation to sculpt the landscape the way you like. Prospera translates your real-life home energy usage into the game to become the environmental conditions. Electricity becomes your day and night rhythm, the ocean level and world temperature will depend on your water and gas usage. Compare yourself to your friends, family and comparable households all over the world to find out what your energy profile looks like.
The concept of Prospera was tested in two different ways. First of all a simplified version of the game was made to test weather the game in itself is fun and engaging enough to keep people interested. We observed from this evaluation that people thought the game fun and engaging mainly because of the aspects: At first the it fulfilled the need of self-expression, giving the player the freedom to create the planted she wanted. Secondly, the social aspects were very motivating. Through playing the game together, finding new animals together and comparing planets, people were motivated to keep on playing.
Secondly, sensors were installed in peoples meter box, which were linked to a real time planet visualization. This test was meant to evaluate how the direct feedback would effect people’s behavior and awareness of their energy usage. Also here positive reactions could be seen: people started to play around with their electronic devices to see the effects. They also actively reflected upon their usage, and in some cases this even lead to a behavior change. Some of the comments can be seen below.