Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A way to keep score...

Everything is becoming a game. Or this is the claim of game designer and Carnegie Mellon Professor Jesse Schell in the talk at the DICE 2010 convention. If you have ever visited your Facebook news feed, all those stories about finding lost sheep probably confirms it. In that same vein, Cateye has created the new Commuter bicycle computer that tracks how much carbon offset you are performing by riding your bike. From their description:

The Carbon Offsets are computed by using a fixed 150g/km or 240g/mile figure and multiplying it by the distance ridden. It tracks it in real time and shows day to day, week to week, month to month and total carbon saved.

So with those figures you can figure out on your own. Pretty neat. It's too bad there's not a way to upload this to your computer or Facebook. (full disclosure: "I am in a relationship with Facebook" and "It's complicated" :) so you could tweet it if you want instead). The notion of tracking your progress reminds me of something from Schell's talk:

“If anyone has the new Ford Hybrid car, it has a speedometer and it has a gas gauge. What are those leaves? What the hell is that? The more gas you save, the more the plant grows. They put a virtual pet in your car and it changes the way you drive. Games have crept out and they are going everywhere.”

Bonus points to save the world!


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