The Distributed Grid Demonstrator Game (temporary name) was developed by the FSight company and Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa with the support of ICA in Israel. The aim of the game is to introduce the player to the world of renewable energy and especially the interrelationships between the various technologies in an experiential and fun way. The games also illustrates the need to diversify energy production and storage sources, and opens the door to an in-depth discussion about the future of energy.
The target audience set for the game was originally students, but when we suggested the game to other groups we found that it was highly suitable for adult groups and even for groups that already had a background in renewable energy. Among the teams that played the game were, for example, the team of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Energy, environmental field managers in municipalities, business managers of the kibbutz movement, science teachers from the Ministry of Education, employees of high-tech companies and others. Most of these groups played the game here in Ma’ale Gilboa at the Visitors Center, adjacent to the Gilboa Wind Farm, pumped-storage facility and Ma’ale Giboa’s solar panels, but we have played it in offices and other venues throughout Israel as well.
During the sessions we learned that in order to get the most out of the game, it should be played after the players have heard about the various renewable energy technologies and the interrelationships between them. For this reason it is perfect for summarizing a field trip or an informative lecture at the Gilboa Wind Farm Visitors Center. During the game, real dilemmas from the world of renewable energy are presented and discussions (sometimes even passionate arguments!) develop about strategies for designing a stable network based on renewable energy, social consciousness, the realities of cost efficiency, changes in weather conditions and more. In the game, as in life, there is no one right answer; the game is an invitation to awareness, thought and discussion.
During the initial activation period we concentrated on how the game is presented to the players and we’ve come to a number of conclusions about how the next version could be improved.
As a game, the game has proven itself to be a success. It is fun to play, the players take an active role, the competition keeps them “on their toes”, and at the same time the game is a brilliant learning tool.
On the technical side more programming work is needed, mainly to stabilize the flow of the game. Today the game is too sensitive to momentary disconnections, and in instances when a player makes a technical mistake (for example, accidentally exiting the app).
In conclusion, the game is a successful experiential quick-learning educational tool, suitable for a wide variety of audiences.
Gilboa Wind Farm