Big Energy Company Makes Small Effort To Go Green
from the better-than-nothing? dept
As big energy companies jump into the green tech gold rush, some of them have faced criticism that their efforts amount to little more than a cosmetic makeover. Chevron's recent release of an online game in which players are asked to tackle the energy demands of a virtual city does little to soothe such critics. Chevron was beaten to the punch by Starbucks, of all companies, who launched a similarly themed online game back in April. Both companies state their aim to increase awareness of energy issues and encourage participation in the search for solutions. Judging by their investment of creativity into these games, however -- Starbucks' "Planet Green Game" is both more fun and more informative than "Energyville" -- the energy company has been soundly beaten on their own turf by the coffee company (even then, Starbucks' game won't be mistaken as much fun or brilliantly informative any time soon). Chevron appears to have realized that video games can be a useful tool to reach the upcoming generation of their customers and investors; it so happens that it is also this game-playing generation that will face the environmental, security, and economic problems related to energy demand. Unfortunately, Chevron's half-baked game is unlikely to generate any real dialogue, and, for critics, it certainly fails to demonstrate a serious commitment by the company to solving these problems.