ElectroCity, today’s site of the day, is an online computer game from New Zealand that invites players to manage their own virtual towns and cities, with a focus on energy, sustainability and environmental management. The site, launched in 2007, has had a high impact on the target group of young New Zealand students and is being used by others around the world.
ElectroCity was designed for Genesis Energy, a leading generator and retailer of energy in New Zealand. Genesis generates electricity from a range of sources including gas, coal, wind and water.
According to the game creator, Tom Markham, “ElectroCity is educational, but it’s also really fun to play. You start with a pristine New Zealand landscape of rivers, mountains and bush. Then it’s a case of deciding what you want to do with it. You can create a clean and green tourist town or a monstrous metropolis with millions of citizens. You can even do nothing.
“Unlike other building games, our scoring system does not force players to focus only on growth. But ElectroCity is still competitive and addictive. That’s the trick.”
Genesis Energy has also launched Schoolgen, a programme which provides selected schools in New Zealand with the ability to generate a portion of their electricity from solar energy. Schoolgen aims to educate and raise awareness amongst students, teachers and parents about renewable energy, electricity generation and energy efficiency. Another interactive site, Tree People, provides New Zealanders of all ages an opportunity to live in harmony with the environment.
Electrocity was developed at Lowe & Rivet, Sydney, by interactive creative director/copywriter Tom Markham, executive creative director Chris Hunter, account directors Emma Simpson and Jane Knox, account managers Anna Reid, Sonja Srzich, Crystal Clark, web designer and coder Adam Wright. See Rivet’s video on the game.
Ubiquity, Auckland, developed the database structure, security model, web services and underlying web functionality to support the game. In addition to the save and reload functionality, Ubiquity integrated the game data with a schools database system, so teachers could register their classes to take part. See their case study.
1. Gold for ‘Best Online and Mobile Game’ and Silver for ‘Best Website’ at the Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) awards held on 30 November 2007 in Sydney.
2. Silver for the ‘Graphic: Interactive Media and Website Design’ award in the Best Design Awards held on 18 October 2007 in New Zealand.
3. Third place for ‘Best Electronic/Interactive Consumer Website’ at The John Caples International Awards held on 8 March 2008 in New York.
4. Gold in the Science/Health/Environment category at the Australian Interactive Media Awards held on 7 March 2008 in Australia.
5. RSVP Award for best examples of direct and interactive marketing campaigns judged on strategy and creative and The NEXUS Awards for the best products, services and processes that drive campaigns at the 2008 NZ Direct and Interactive Marketing Awards.
6. Silver in the Website Design and Application category at the AXIS Awards held in May 2008 in Auckland.