Are you addicted to power?

At the start of every year, you hear your friends making resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, or spend less. But does anyone resolve to "use less energy"? Even if they did, it would probably end like most new years resolutions (...with failure).

I'm sure you'd like to use less energy if you could, but it's hard to change habits. ...even if it would save you money. ...even if it would help the environment.

For my entry, I created Kilowatt Quest - a game that helps you curb your bad kilowatt habits. It helps address the disconnect between your actions (such as leaving the lights off) and their effects (such as costing you an extra dollar)

Once a week, you get to choose a Quest, such as: "This week, on Sunday evening, spend less on electricity than last week." When the challenge time comes around, the game will remind you (by email or text) and then it's up to you to be creative and beat the challenge.

You can see your Quest's progress (updated every hour) and get hints on how to beat it. Once the challenge is complete, you celebrate (or not) and choose a challenge for the next week.

I've tested the game with a few friends (using the old 'download/upload' green button method), and it's a lot of fun! Having to only act for a few hours per week makes it much less daunting than 'use less electricity always'. You also realize that turning of the lights or delaying the dishwasher isn't so bad. ...and, you start developing a really good sense of when the peak-hours are.

Right now, the game is just a proof-of-concept. There's a ton of things I want to add: achievements, playing with friends, playing against friends, much better art... but, it works for now; the core is there.

Games can be great motivators. I can already see my habits changing and I think, once others start playing, they will also start developing better energy habits. And when that happens, everybody wins.

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