People who play “green” games should be kept away from sharp instruments.
A service provider for the green consumer says it is revolutionizing the way people approach sustainability, and the key to that revolution, it says, is games.
Recyclebank, a Philadelphia-based startup-turned international service provider, has spent the past five years developing programs that incentivize green activities through an emerging science called “gamification,” or the use of game mechanics to modify behavior.
By engaging in online activities, users are prompted to adjust their lifestyles offline in ways that let them live a little lighter on the planet. The company calls this “gaming for good.”
“We firmly believe in the carrot versus the stick approach for motivating people to change their behavior, and gaming is a key part of this strategy,” wrote Jeff Harse, a spokesman for the company, in an email. “Recyclebank leverages gamification to engage members online while influencing them to carry out green behaviors offline.”
On Recyclebank’s website, users are invited to perform a range of actions, from taking a short quiz about polar bears to pledging to learn more about the chemicals in their cosmetics. Playing these “games” earns users points, which can then be redeemed for tangible prizes — usually a discount from one of Recyclebank’s corporate sponsors.
As they engage with the games online, users are pushed, subtly, to perform “green” actions offline — to conserve energy, recycle their plastic bottles or learn a little bit about the environment, according to company spokespeople…