UVA students develop game app to help Charlottesville residents save energy at home

uva-logoUVA students are harnessing skills they’ve learned in the classroom to help Charlottesville win the $5 Million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

The Game Design Research Group, housed in UVa’s Computer Science Department, has a mission to use gaming to provide solutions to broad societal issues. Students selected this project from several project options to assist the Energize!Charlottesville campaign.

The game under development will support local residents and the Energize!Charlottesville campaign by developing a mobile app that will make saving energy a game that brings home the concept of real energy and utility bill savings. They will demonstrate a working prototype on Wednesday, December 9 to City staff.

The concept of using gaming to address broad societal issues is not a new one for UVa. The successful The UVa Bay Game was designed to help people understand the complex issues, choices, and resulting effects of actions on the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

An excellent example of local government and higher education institutions working cooperatively to achieve greater success and provide service to the community through innovative approaches, this project pairs Charlottesville’s environmental goals, competition for the $5 Million Georgetown University Energy Prize, and the Game Design Research Group’s mission to use gaming to provide solutions to broad societal issues.

The developers’ meeting and prototype demonstration will provide an opportunity to hear about:

  • the value and reward systems designed for the game
  • the challenges to making energy saving actions easy and attainable
  • successful models the students researched
  • a demonstration of the prototype
  • an announcement seeking graphic art assistance for game


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