Plan It Green: A SimCity For Eco-Conscious Youth

Renewable energy and green building go hand in hand. One turns sunlight or wind into electricity, and the other uses smart materials and efficient design to conserve as much of it as possible. What seems so revolutionary today will be commonplace in the future, but only if we change our perception of what’s normal.

Plan It Green is a new, free-to-play online city building game that hopes to train up a new generation of cleantech savvy youth. The SimCity-like game is part of a new national initiative designed to engage, enlighten and educate American kids in a conversation about the future of energy.

Plan It Green

Image via National Geographic

Created by developer Wyse Games, Plan It Green challenges players to test their design skills by building and customizing their own city. Players rack up points for eco-friendliness, energy production and overall citizen happiness while competing with friends and other city “mayors” for the highest city rating.

Players advance through game levels by creating a diverse power portfolio and improve their town’s energy efficiency by implementing smart energy technologies. Achievements and continuous play help players earn credits to beautify and improve the existing infrastructure of their town and expand their city limits.

The game is the first program in a new partnership initiative between National Geographic, GE and the Center for Science called Connect! Transform the Future. Designed to engage the nation’s youth in a manner that is both fun and educational, Connect! will eventually include a variety of outreach materials — short Digital 3D film, teacher workshops, interactive educational materials and exhibits and programs at local science centers — to inspire students to learn more about the future of energy.

“We wanted to create a way for energy consumers, particularly young people, to better understand our energy system and learn what they can do to help create strong, thriving communities,” said said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water. “Today’s young people will be tomorrow’s engineers, utility executives and energy consumers. We have a responsibility to help them create our best energy future.”

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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