by Daniel DiPasquo

Filed Under:
corporate games, energy, greentech

chevron, starbucks

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.

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  • identicon
    Anoymous of Course, 12 Sep 2007 @ 3:03pm

    My awareness is risen

    "Both companies state their aim to increase awareness of energy issues..."

    This in itself is absurd.

    Anyone who is not aware of the high cost of energy, the
    need to conserve where possible and the deleterious effects
    consumption exerts on the environment, must be living under
    a rock.

    This is nothing more corporate image buffing and it's not
    even effective at that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 12 Sep 2007 @ 3:28pm

    I don't know. I found the game fairly interesting. While the Starbucks game seems to focus mostly on environmental issues, this game tasks you to balance environmental concerns with economics factors and energy security. Perhaps a less idealistic, but more appropriate way to look at the issues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Charles Griswold, 13 Sep 2007 @ 8:36am

    The only solution I can see.

    The only solution that I can see, at least in the short-to-medium term, is nuclear energy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Boost, 13 Sep 2007 @ 10:20am

    God forbid...

    That we use less energy. *everyone gasps*

    Here in America we have some real entitlement issues that have to do with our energy consumption. Basically we feel that it is our god given right to use as much as we possibly can afford and everyone else be damned. It's going to take a real attitude change before we can make any real progress, which is why we need fresh, innovative thinkers in positions of power to implement change. Games like this are doing their part to change the attitudes of the younger generations. We need fewer people making statements like, "This will never work so therefore let's keep doing things like we've always done it.", and more people saying, "This can work, we just need to work hard to figure out how." Change is hard, but it's good to hear that some big players are trying to help change people's attitudes. Now, if Starbucks would tear out their drivethrough windows and start putting up bicycle racks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben Cipiti, 15 Sep 2007 @ 11:41am

    The Energy Construct

    It is difficult to believe the reports or studies of big oil companies when it comes to energy economics. I work at a national laboratory and have been frustrated at how difficult it can be to find unbiased information on alternative energy. This was part of the reason I decided to do my own research and write a book on how our country can achieve a clean energy future. It's called, "The Energy Construct" and I hope it helps to provide a roadmap for energy policy in the future. Check it out at www.theenergyconstruct.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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