Spring 2013   |   In collaboration with Nick Hermans, Bart Wolfs, and Thomas van de Werff

Prospera The game environment of Prospera

Prospera is a casual game that uses home energy data from smart meters as input for a virtual game-environment. In Prospera you can design your own planet: make mountains, dig for water, and plant vegetation to sculpt the landscape the way you like. The environmental conditions on the planet – and the way that the species develop – are determined by home energy usage: the more electricity has been used at home, the less there is to power the sun on your planet. Similarily the ocean level and world temperature depend on water and gas usage. By comparing yourself to your friends, family and comparable households all over the world, you can find out what your energy profile looks like and you might improve.

Prospera concept video

Prospera was tested in two different ways. A simplified Flash version of the game was tested to see whether the game dynamics were sufficiently engaging. We found that the game allowed for self-expression and that the social aspects were motivating. Secondly, we installed sensors in people’s meter box, which were connected to a real-time planet visualization. This test showed that the direct feedback affected people’s awareness of their energy use. Although evaluation was informal and too short to give conclusive answers, people actively reflected upon their behavior and in some cases changed the behavior during the evaluation week.

A selection of comments from the user evaluations

Prospera was created for the Microsoft Design Research Challenge 2013 on Big Data . It was exhibited during the Dutch Design Week at the ID’13 exhibition and won a D&AD Wood Pencil, New Blood Award in 2015. The concept has been further developed for primary schools by company Slim Opgewekt.


Last update: March 2018
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