The recently announced union of Recyclebank and Greenopolis affirms the traction of two leading platforms that reward people for everyday green actions.
Recyclebank's "Green Your" challenges use quizzes, pledges and social sharing to educate and incentivize players on interactive microsites. Greenopolis' RecyclePix mobile app encourages users to share pictures of recycling to earn rewards. The interface includes a dynamic photo stream that can be voted on for bonus points.
Solar manufacturer SunPower recently ran a Facebook contest to teach people about solar energy in exchange for badges and prizes. Startups such as Simple Energy and Practically Green use the social web to calculate metrics like household energy saving and reward users for their relative performance. These companies validate that people are proud to share eco-conscious habits and that a little friendly competition positively reinforces their green activities.
Traditional industries are green gaming too. The Nissan Leaf includes CARWINGS, which is a digital tracker that both measures fuel consumption and ranks drivers according to fuel-efficiency. The Ford Fusion Hybrid adds graphical flair by incorporating a Tamogochi-style game, in which a small dashboard plant grows and shrinks based on green driving practices. Even social games on Facebook are experiencing a makeover; for instance, Guerillapps and upcycling pioneer TerraCycle partnered to introduce Trash Tycoon, which applies Zynga-like gameplay to bridge the gap between virtual and real-world sustainable living.
Gamification and game development are still in their formative years, evolving to exhibit more purpose and tangible impact. As the sustainability movement also matures, it behooves the stakeholders to embrace the potential of green gamification.
In order to propel green into the mainstream, we need to make it enjoyable, accessible and rewarding. As fellow eco-entrepreneur Anthony Zolezzi proclaims, let's embrace "fun and fame, not guilt and shame." This is the new spirit of sustainability and green gamification is leading the way.
Video game photo via Shutterstock.