ALTER SPACE, THE NEW FILIPINO-DEVELOPED Facebook game, is a fun way for gamers to learn practical tips on Earth-friendly living. This means a lifestyle that helps reduce the effects of global warming, climate change and carbon emissions on the planet. These tips are presented as part of various tasks and mini-games that the gamer plays. Alter Space was developed by AboitizPower to educate gamers on Carbon Footprint Reduction (more on that later).
New Earth Hour mini-game
Alter Space keeps up-to-date with environmental and Earth-friendly projects. One of these is Earth Hour, a global event that calls on people around the world to shut down all non-essential lights and appliances on the last Saturday of March, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, according to their local time. Alter Space has introduced a new mini-game called “Switch Chaser” in support of Earth Hour.
In “Switch Chaser”, the gamer’s avatar is required to switch off whatever appliance has been left on in his or her virtual home. The gamer has two minutes to move around the house, using the PC arrow keys, and turn off an appliance. The gamer needs to press the space bar once the avatar is beside an appliance to turn it off. The gamer must turn off as many appliances as possible within two minutes.
The gamer earns points or “Currentcy” for each appliance turned off. This Currentcy is used to purchase various necessities in the Alter Space virtual world. A gamer can play “Switch Chaser” up to 5 times a day to earn Currentcy. Subsequent game plays (beyond the fifth for the day) are possible but they will no longer earn Currentcy.
Getting your game on
It’s better to know a few basic things about global warming and how it relates to the game’s ultimate goal: Carbon Footprint Reduction.
“Carbon footprint” refers to the amount of carbon gas emissions that a particular human activity releases into the planet. Practically every human activity—driving a car, cooking hamburgers, baking pastries, using household appliances, etc. — leaves its own carbon footprint, whether large or small.
The more carbon emissions are released, the warmer our planet gets. Too much warmth on a global scale affects our weather in ways that could harm our environment and life on Earth. We simply cannot allow our planet to get too hot, if we want to preserve it for the next generations of humans, animals and plants.
Reducing the amount of carbon emissions in the planet is one way of managing Global Warming. To do this, we need to choose activities that leave only a small carbon footprint. We can’t totally avoid carbon emissions: it’s a fact of life that living things release carbon gas into the atmosphere—even something as basic a breathing adds to the amount of carbon gas in the planet.
When you play Alter Space, that is what you actually do: make choices and play games that teach you how to reduce your carbon footprint. The right choices are those that increase happiness while minimizing one’s carbon footprint.
Playing the game
In Alter Space, you not only have your own virtual home but an entire planet to take care of. The choices you make during the game will determine whether your planet has more or less total carbon emissions. The objective of the game is to make choices and fulfill tasks that will increase your Happiness Level while ensuring that carbon emissions are kept to a safe amount.
You must fulfill certain tasks (cooking, taking a shower, buying food, going to the park, shopping, watching TV, using the computer, etc.) in order to increase his or her Happiness Level. Every time the Happiness Level reaches 100 per cent, your avatar goes up one game level. The game goes up to Level 5.
You must continuously earn “Currentcy” during the game. This is done by playing various mini-games. These mini-games involve harvesting energy from alternative sources: a solar power plant, a geothermal plant and a hydro-electric plant—all of which provide energy without carbon emissions.
Alter Space also includes details and touches that showcase Filipino culture, like buying food from a “turo-turo”; playing sungka; or using a pamaypay or fan, and many others.
Some practical tips you learn in Alter Space are: a) Using natural sunlight to brighten your house as much as possible; b) Using energy-saving light bulbs in the house; c) Using a pail of water when you bathe, instead of the shower; d) Using an LCD television set instead of the old CRT TVs; LCD TVs consume less energy and result in less carbon emissions.
Learn these and more practical tips the fun way when you play Alter Space! Check it out at www.facebook.com/alterspacegame.
AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, retail and power services. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy in the Philippines with several hydroelectric and geothermal assets in its generation portfolioand also has non-renewable power plants located across the country. The company owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (For more details, please visit:www.abotizpower.com andwww.cleanergy.com.ph.)