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Energy City play for the future

17/03/14

The future of Aberdeen and the world is being put into the virtual hands of school children.

Energy City. An online game, designed to teach children how they can make small steps to improve the environment for the long term, is to be launched by Aberdeen City Council and SCARF.

Energy City, which is aimed at primary five to seven pupils, focuses on energy and sustainable living. Players can create their own characters and improve the energy rating of their homes from G (the lowest) to A (the best) by making home improvements.

By doing so, they will reduce their fuel bills and can earn eco-points to spend in their online garden, where youngsters can grow virtual vegetables and improve the environment. Players can also decide how they will travel and vote on city decisions, including how their city will produce energy or deal with waste.

The aim of the game is to move from three planet living to one planet living – if everyone in the world used the amount of resources the average person in Aberdeen uses, we'd need three worlds to supply them.

Enterprise, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure vice-convener Councillor Angela Taylor said: "This game is a fun way of helping children to learn about energy in the home, different types of energy, where it comes from and how we can reduce our use of fossil fuels and protect the environment while providing more affordable heat and power for our homes.

"Energy City supports what children are learning in school, but it is also a fun educational game which can be played at home by all the family and might just save you money."

SCARF chief executive Billy Sloan said: "I'm delighted that SCARF has been a part of this innovative and informative project. The children of today are tomorrow's consumers and it's great that we've developed this engaging tool to help them understand the impact their actions have on both their fuel bill and their impact on the environment."

Energy City, which offers 15 and 30 minutes sessions, different skill levels and options for one player, two players, or two teams of two, can be used to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence.

The game has been trialled by pupils at Loirston School, where pupils were impressed with Energy City and particularly enjoyed planting and decorating their own gardens. Their suggestion of including a tool which allows players to create their own characters has been incorporated into the game.

Energy City was funded by Aberdeen City Council and the EU Interreg IVB NEW Programme through the MUSIC Project (Mitigation in Urban Areas: Solutions to Innovative Cities), which aims to reduce carbon emissions in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen MUSIC Project manager Wendy Devall said: "Energy City is a fun and educational online game to help school children learn about how we can make better decisions to keep our planet healthy. It is hoped this learning can be brought home and shared with family members, as well as help young people make their own decisions about energy, waste and transport."

You can play Energy City at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/energycity The game works on most devices and browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, but will only work on Internet Explorer version 9 or above.