A game that gets young apprentices thinking about energy efficiency, and transforms this into positive behavioural change in their homes and workplaces.
While public messaging about energy efficiency has consistently targeted youth audiences, research shows most young people, particularly apprentices and trainees, are not exhibiting energy efficient behaviours.
Skillset, a skills development organisation based in central NSW, wanted to change this. They approached 2and2 with an idea to create a game that would motivate apprentices in rural NSW to change their behaviour towards energy efficiency. The game came to be known as PowerPlay, and formed part of a three-year research program funded by the Department of Industry to investigate different approaches to saving energy and money for low income earners. The program focused on 920 apprentices and trainees.
Rather than using adverts, events or traditional programs like Earth Hour, 2and2 designed Powerplay to encourage players to make decisions in-game that would then translate into practical decisions around energy consumption made at home and at work.
Players are tasked with rebuilding a rural town in Western NSW after the apocalypse. To do so, they must grow the city in the most energy efficient way possible. However, at night, Elementals come to sap the town’s power. Players must fend them off using energy weapons. If they don’t fend off the attack, the Elementals sap their energy and players are left with fewer resources for the next day.
Following the completion of the research project in 2016, survey responses and case studies indicated that PowerPlay had positively impacted on participants. Promisingly, 94% of engaged participants said they had changed their behaviour and/or purchasing decisions as a result of being involved in the program.