From PopSci.com we learn of a media expert at Stanford that details the ways in which online multiplayer games can reflect and reward real-world eco-friendly behavior. The idea is to tie in your home power usage and metrics to an online game, like World of Warcraft is an example the expert touts as one vehicle to encourage people to reduce power consumption.
A scenario might be this: Within the game the user receives feedback on their home’s power consumption, let’s say that you left a bunch of lights on. If you then turn the lights off, the game detects the decrease in power and your character in the game is rewarded somehow to reinforce the eco-friendly behavior.
The concept of rewarding people for reducing power consumption is good, and I think being able to provide live feedback to consumers is also great. But the implementation details this expert gives are screwed. A WoW player, most any MMORPG or online FPS gamer for that matter, is not going to be motivated to alter their real world lifestyle to impact their online experience.
Now maybe if there was a way to tie the reduced power usage to a reduced WoW subscription fee or for free online game time, that is something I’d consider useful.