Green Gamification in the Realm of Custom Elearning Design

Designing Digitally


Green Gamification in the Realm of Custom Elearning Design

“Going green” is a common phrase today. Environmentalism has become a hot topic in recent years and more people than ever are paying attention to the different ways to care for the Earth. There are few areas of life untouched by environmentally-friendly changes.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that custom elearning design is also going green. Green gamification is using game mechanics to teach facets of environmentalism. The idea is that appealing to humans’ love for games will encourage them to learn more about sustainability.

Customized green gamification

Here are some examples of green gamification programs that are being used to encourage more involvement in the movement to save the planet.

  • The Green Button Initiative. This is a government app that allows users to access their energy usage data from their mobile device. It includes different games that are based around actual user data.  
  • Leafully. This is another app that can help people view data about how much energy they are using. It uses charted trends to help users understand how the way they live their everyday lives impacts the amount of energy they consume.
  • Opower. This software takes the user’s energy use data and transforms it into a gamified interface that can actually help people lower their consumption of power and their utility bills.
  • Greenbean recycle. This startup in Boston is changing the way some well-known college campuses view recycling. MIT, Harvard, and Tufts have all used intercollegiate challenges and recycling lotteries to increase the rate of recycling by 40%.
  • The UVA Bay Game. This unique, far-reaching game was developed by conservationist Philippe Cousteau and is a simulation focusing on the impact of various factors on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. This simulation has many players and is set to run for twenty years.

An unexpected result

There are some distinct advantages that have come from custom green gamification. The UVA Bay Game is a great example of what can be accomplished. While the original goal was to teach concepts of the Complex Chesapeake Bay system, another important benefit started to emerge.

It was collaboration. The players in the Bay game all play in the same big room. The research leader of the project found that, in a short amount of time, the players started to dialogue and trade information with each other.

The implications for custom elearning design

The impact of green gamification is an example of what can be accomplished in any area in which well-designed gamification, simulations, and serious games are applied. 

Game elements can be used to create new business connections and opportunities that come from the collaborative nature of the activities. Programs that are custom designed for a company’s training purposes, whether it’s  about going green or any other sphere, have the same advantages that were observed in the UVA Bay Game.

The greening of gamification is just one example of how much of an impact elearning has on businesses and the world at large.