03 December 2010
Posted in Press and Media
I/ITSEC - Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, held annually at the Orange County Convention Center attracts over 18,000 national and international attendees to this dynamic showcase of the latest in high tech simulation and digital media.
The Serious Games Showcase promotes innovative game-based solutions to education and training problems. Finalists in each of the 3 categories – student, government, and business-were selected by a panel of serious game leaders from military, industry, and academia.
Energize! took top prize in the student category. The game was developed by the Orlando Science Center and by a team from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), which included graduate students led by instructor Ron Weaver.
Energize! challenges the player to provide electricity to their growing community while keeping emissions minimized. The game, made possible by a grant from the Progress Energy Foundation and with additional support from the Turner Foundation, is now a featured component of the Science Center’s H2Now exhibit, which explores hydrogen power and alternative energy solutions.
During the game, players have five energy producers to choose from: fossil fuel, wind, solar, biomass, and nuclear. Each form has tradeoffs. The player learns that it takes a combination of energy sources to achieve a balance between energy demand, economic needs and environmental concerns.
The finalist games were judged by a panel of more than 20 academia and industry professionals from around the country. More important though is the reaction of both the Science Center guests and those who played at the I/ITSEC conference. People really do vote with their feet. At I/ITSEC, the length of time that people stayed to play the game was amazing.
When we finally kicked a few off due to others waiting to play, they went back to their hotels and played the on-line version. Some then came back to discuss the game, what they learned and then play it again. From the Obama policy advisor to a 14 year-old with spina bifida, the reaction to and engagement with the game was overwhelming.
Play a few rounds of this award-winning game by visiting www.energizegame.com.