Game design competition opened to Penn State students

The H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture is seeking entries to the Energy Game Design Competition at Penn State.

The “Save Energy Application Design Competition” is open to Penn State students in any major and will demonstrate an array of working prototypes at the leading edge of creative game design. Prizes include a $1,000 grand prize, second place prizes of $500, third place prizes of $250, and additional categories paying $100.

Sponsored by StudioLab and the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy-Efficient Buildings, the technology design competition is an outgrowth of the GPIC, led by Penn State, the goals of which are to transform the building retrofit industry from serial fragmentation to integrated systems methods, to improve design tools, building systems, public policies, market incentives, and workforce skills needed to achieve a 50 percent reduction of energy use in buildings, and to stimulate private investment and quality job creation in Greater Philadelphia and beyond.

The competition’s challenge is to incorporate energy-use data streams into an interactive web, mobile, or social media based application that gets people to start saving energy. Many approaches to saving energy have already been attempted. These include energy-use feedback visualizations, educational materials, virtual simulations, and energy-themed games. This competition takes those ideas a step further. Entrants are asked to do something new with one of these approaches, combine the approaches in new exciting ways, or to create their own approach. The only requirements are that the application created: (1) incorporates the live energy-use data provided by Penn State; (2) is interactive by requiring user input and doing more than only displaying information; and (3) is created on one of the platforms listed in the description here.

Entrants will be judged on the originality and innovativeness of their ideas; the level of engagement the product creates; the visual appeal of their final product; the energy saving content and ability to induce change; and overall ease of use and operability relative to the target audience. Each factor will be independently weighed, and the winners will not necessarily have to score the highest in every category to be selected.

Final contest submissions should include three components: the game or application itself; a short essay (minimum of 500 words) stating the intent of the application, describing the application itself and how it is used, and how successfully or unsuccessfully the application does what it set out to do; and an 11” by 17” poster to be displayed and used for judging. The poster should contain a brief summary of the application, screen shots, and annotations.

Final submissions are due by 5 p.m. Monday Jan. 9, 2012 to a dropbox on the competition website. Winners will be notified in late January, and selected by a panel that will include industry experts, GPIC officials, representatives of the target audience, and project investigators.

More information can be found at

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Last Updated December 08, 2011