EnerCities, a Serious Game to Stimulate Sustainability and Energy Conservation: Preliminary Results
Serious gaming is generally considered to be a powerful means to educate people. Using such games in order to influence the energy consumers of tomorrow –i.e. present-day secondary school students to become more environmentally friendly and conserve more energy at home– presents researchers and designers with a specific set of challenges. In addition to resorting desired effects on outcome variables, the game also has to appeal to people who are highly critical.
This paper presents some preliminary evaluation results of a serious game developed to increase awareness and attitudes relating to energy use in the household, in a number of European countries. Combining results from exploratory quantitative and qualitative pilot studies and quantitative field experiments, we come to the following conclusions: (serious) gaming in the field of sustainability and energy conservation is not common among students, as evidenced by extremely low percentages of reported use.
Furthermore, results clearly show that playing EnerCities increased awareness, and more positive attitudes towards some everyday-life energy-related behaviours.