EcoWarriors is a social challenge game of raising virtual endangered wild animals to bring awareness and action toward climate change! This game is a fun way for the community to participate together by changing simple daily habits and earn rewards for their good actions.

Team:

Jabeen Zaidi- UX/UI Desginer: Working on the concept art of the virtual pets and overall design of the app.

Vi Ly - Biostatistics Ph.D. Student: Managing the team meeting, finding the dataset and developing the algorithm for the accurate scoring of the users.

Karen Nogueira - Data Analytics Masters Student: developing the app and fixing any technical issues occurring with the prototype.

Tanu Jain - MBA Student: Leading team, developing the business plan and planning market strategies for our app.

Objective:

Raising people’ awareness on the topic of climate change and motivating the community to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle via gamification. Inspiration: Our own personal experiences inspired us to develop this project. We deeply care about the environment and we see others around us concerned about it too. However, when we initiate such dialogues on climate change, people feel confined in their abilities to make any change. Climate change is perceived as a big global issue and they feel they can't do anything to change that. Moreover, some think of climate change as a scientific myth as they don't see any real impact of it in their daily lives. Therefore, through the Climathon, we got together as a team to develop a gaming app to visually show the real impact of climate change and to engage players showing how they contribute to this cause by making slight changes in their daily activities.

Project Description:

EcoWarriors is a social challenge game challenge of raising virtual endangered wild animals to bring awareness and action toward climate change! The goal of the project is to engage people in changing their daily habits and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Every action of the users is tracked and converted to a score, the score will be the metrics for the wellbeing of their virtual pet. These actions include: Reducing carbon footprint using more renewable energy, wasting less water, reducing waste (i.e. Changing to reusable shopping bags), choosing businesses that support green living (partners), recycling, and biking instead of driving.

Game Storyline:

The global climate change becomes a huge problem on Earth and numerous animals are on the edge of extinction. To prevent the mass extinction from happening, the players will act as a wild-lives rescuer and are assigned with a mysterious egg of an endangered animal. Each animal they are assigned will be the very last one of a species. The players will incubate the egg at the beginning stage of the game. After the players reach a certain score, the egg will reveal their assigned animal ( i.e. penguin, dolphin, whale, polar bear…) Depending on the player’s choice of challenge, a set of tasks will be shown. The tasks are daily actions in a person’s life, and every completed task will be tracked and converted to a score. That score will be the metrics (such as air quality, water quality, energy consumption…) that will contribute to the wellbeing of their virtual pet and the improvement of the environment in that animal’s habitat. With a higher score level, the virtual animals will slowly bear more eggs and have a family of their own to bring their species out of extinction. The game raises people’s awareness and educates about sustainable living in a fun way that even a kid can understand. EcoWarriors is a great game for individuals or for the whole family to play together.

Methods for Score Tracking:

  1. Take photos of their electric bills, track decrease
  2. Show receipts of restaurants/businesses
  3. Track geolocation for the mileage of a person when they are walking or biking.
  4. Timing showers and water usage
  5. Green membership card to use on the bus or partnered green stores/restaurant/coffee shop/markets. Members with this card can get discounted at those partnered stores, too.

Rewards for Players:

“Badges” for each challenge (i.e. Reducing Plastic Waste). Every month, the community of this game will get together to celebrate the top-scored players and listen to their journey of changing their daily habits toward a sustainable living goal. This will help fuel up the motivation of the players and build a stronger community full of the exciting environmentally mindful individuals. Data Gathering & Visualization:

  1. Summarizing the statistic of the average consumption of water and energy on a local level.
  2. Training algorithm with real data to perfect our scoring system.
  3. Gathering data about local businesses and markets about their level of green awareness.
  4. Using this data to improve users’ experience and connecting them with the right community partners and organizations which promote sustainable and green living.

Impact of Solutions:

Our ultimate goal is to raise people’s awareness on the topic of climate change and to motivate the community to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle via this gamification project. This game raises people’s awareness and educates about sustainable living in a fun way that even a kid can understand. Therefore, even the ones who are not so interested in environmental issues before will start to be mindful about it through this game.

Future Plan:

We are developing the app and working on launching a beta version through a limited invitation. Then, once the product is finalized, we will launch the official version on the app stores and promote the app through advertising and word-of-mouth. When we have a good initial user base, we will work on building a bigger community. Every month, the community of this game will get together to celebrate the top-scored players and listen to their journey of changing their daily habits toward a sustainable living goal. This will help fuel up the motivation of the players and build a stronger community full of an exciting environmentally mindful individual. On the data science side of this project, we will work on:

  1. Summarizing the statistic of the average consumption of water and energy on a local level.
  2. Training algorithm with real data to perfect our scoring system.
  3. Gathering data about local businesses and markets about their level of green-awareness.
  4. Using this data to improve users’ experience and connecting them with the right community partners and organizations which promote sustainable and green living.

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