An educational experiment in gaming the power grid
Originated by Professors Meyn, Sandvig and Langbort, this project focuses on concept development for Blackout, a persistent, browser-based, multiplayer online game about dynamic markets for electric power. With additional consultation from game-design professionals, our design process emphasizes rules and play experience instead of other, often more costly aspects of game development, such as art, programming, marketing, documentation, and so on. The project draws from the investigators’ respective expertise in distributed control systems and pricing, and power system dynamics and control, to specify the objectives and ensure that the rules of play and environment, while simpliﬁed, retain the main essential features and challenges as real power systems. At the conclusion of concept development, we anticipate the creation of a working multiplayer prototype, playable from a remote Web browser. At that point, we will proceed to classroom tests to assess the educational value of Blackout, using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, and providing both formative and summative assessments.
Project supported by NSF/ECCS through EAGER award #1242851.
Image Credit: jrsquee