If the environment was a game, would we win?
EduCycle, a new game that uses augmented reality (AR), teaches children ages 12 and up about the impact their decisions have on the environment. Designed and built by Neste, the game’s challenge is to reduce the world’s carbon dioxide emissions to the level specified in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
The beta launch of the EduCycle game is the culmination of Neste’s year-long Pre-order the Future initiative, aiming to generate discussion on responsible alternatives and to develop bold and innovative solutions for sustainable products and services together with the general public.
By taking advantage of augmented reality and digital game logic, EduCycle simulates choices concerning energy, food and traffic affecting global carbon emission levels. Based on the environmental science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the game allows players to make choices using a physical map board, 3D printed markers and a mobile app which bring the resulting environmental outcomes to life in a virtual city, when viewed through an iPad. Thanks to its simple design, the board and pieces of the game can be printed out on a standard printer. In addition to the printouts, an iPad and the game’s app is required.
"We wanted to create a fun and educational game that teaches kids and adults about the factors impacting the environment,” said Jeremy Baines, VP Sales, Neste North America. “As the game shows, making the right choices can be surprisingly difficult. Climate change is a serious issue, and we strongly believe education is one of the most important tools we have to positively affect the future of our planet.”
First EduCycle games donated to schools and science centers
The first release of EduCycle will be donated to select schools for educational purposes. On March 30, 2017, Neste will donate the first game to Lincoln High School in San Francisco. Representatives from the San Francisco Department of the Environment will also be present. On the other side of the globe, Heureka science center in Vantaa, Finland, will accept the game in early April. Similar organizations around the world have shown an interest in receiving EduCycle.
“San Francisco school students are some of our greatest environmental champions because they learn about the importance of protecting nature in the classroom,” said Deborah Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Activities that help our students better understand the impacts of climate change offer meaningful opportunities for students to dig deeper and think even bigger about how they might make a difference for their generation and generations to come."
"Now that the first version of the game is ready, we’re keen to hand it over to an interested third party for further development,” Neste’s Jeremy Baines continued. “The idea is to ultimately make it available to as many children and young people as possible, in a way that is both easy and affordable.”
The game was conceived as a part of the Pre-order the Future initiative by Neste experts, TBWA advertising agency and the spoken word artist and passionate environmentalist Prince EA.
"I joined this project to create something that would be beneficial to the environment and the future,” said Prince EA, who acted as the project’s content creator. ”EduCycle is an extremely innovative step towards a better future of learning and I'm excited to see what's in store for it."
The general public also played an active role in developing the game’s concept, and its prototype was tested by children both in Finland and in the U.S. The environmental science behind the game is based on research data by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), while the Finnish FAKE Oy, a digital animation and visual effects studio, is behind the game’s programming and look.
Neste's renewable diesel has been used to cut greenhouse gas emissions in several California cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, Walnut Creek and San Diego, as well as the County of Sacramento, and for various public events, such as Super Bowl 50 in 2016. Additionally, renewable diesel is being used by corporations, such as UPS and Google.