To Be Social It Has to Be Fun
/ May 23, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Jayme Heimbuch at Treehugger.com published a piece a few weeks ago about the failure of energy conservation to engage people via social networking, suggesting that perhaps people were the problem (because we seem to care more about celebrities than kilowatt hours). Three weeks into a pilot where people are sending us photos, bragging to us…

Wii Balance Boards, Monsters Aid Physical Therapy
/ May 6, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Clearly, the backlash against gamification is driven by how silly the word “gamification” sounds. Because this is a good thing. Rice engineering students linked five Wii Balance Boards together, hooked those up to a PC, and placed the Wii array in between two handrails for arm support. The composite formed a balance training and diagnostic…

We Have a People Problem
/ May 5, 2011 0 COMMENTS

So why don’t people talk about energy or sustainability more broadly. Not enough fireworks? Not sexy enough? Not Bieber enough? Via, Grist, Chris Kaiser of Map-a-Watt writes, This is something we all have come to realize. I’ve said many times over the last 2 years of blogging that if I were writing about Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, or…

Gamification? Real Games.
/ May 3, 2011 0 COMMENTS

I’m way late to the party on Heather Chaplin’s much critiqued critique of gamification. But Ian Bogost’s not-so-subtly titled Persuasive Games: Exploitationware gives me another crack at entering the Great Gamification Debate. Chaplin’s basic point seems to be that gamification is an escapist drug. If we make the world more like a game, the thinking goes, we can harness all…

Workplace Communities vs Neighborhoods
/ April 7, 2011 0 COMMENTS

I’ve been involved—as an observer, a participant or a catalyst—in a variety of community-based energy efficiency programs over the last two decades.  All of those efforts aimed to leverage a geographic or political community identity (neighborhoods, towns, etc.) to encourage individuals to implement energy efficient products or conservation practices in their own homes.  Utilities and…