Gaming the Environment for Positive Change

SXSW Description

Join explorer and environmentalist Philippe Cousteau and panelists to explore how gaming innovations can improve the world. In 2010, The University of Virginia launched the UVA Bay Game, a large-scale game simulation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed that allows players to take the roles of various stakeholders (farmers, developers, policy makers) and to see how their choices affect the health and economy of the watershed. Since its launch, Cousteau’s Azure Worldwide has collaborated on the game’s development. From college courses and virtual classrooms to corporate board rooms and Capitol Hill, learn how the potential impact of the game has intrigued legislators, corporate leaders and other stakeholders. Panelists will discuss: How can games/simulations allow a variety of stakeholders to solve complex problems? Can games not only create solutions but also create new ways of thinking and interaction? What applications does the UVA Bay Game have outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed?

Initial Thoughts

This was a highlight for me long before SXSWi started. I love what Philippe Cousteau has done in his career – helping not only the environment, but also children, and therefore, our future. I’m a nature-nut and went to school for Outdoor Education so again, this was something for close to my heart. Afterward I even got a picture with him and told him about my background in both technology and natural history and how it meant a lot to me to see him combine the two. Very awesome experience.

Key Takeaways

  • “Blessed are the brief for they will be reinvited.” – P.Cousteau – great sense of humor.
  • “Green gamification” works on a green social media. – A.Kamal.
  • Check out the UVA Bay game – it teaches everyone how to use science to work together for the environment.
  • Students learn about interconnectedness of the complex system of the watershed.
  • Green social media marketing! It exists!
  • Green games teach kids to work together and learn how to communicate and build relationships.
  • Green web design! Offset your carbon footprint by planting trees!
  • “You can motivate the private sector to become a change agent.” – J. Plank.
  • Recyclebank – green your scholl year. Lots of great green tips!
  • Terracycle – first green game. Like a “trash tycoon” – earn points in the real world.
  • Practically green – uses apps to motivate folks to be green.

Twitter Highlights

Design Coyote


Date & Location

Monday, March 13, 2012
Austin Convention Center
Theme: Better Tomorrow

More Posts About This Session

Can “Green Gamification” Save the World?
Greening South By Southwest
SXSW Session Info