'Great Energy Escape' immersive energy system balancing game for children and families launches at Manchester Science Festival 2017
On Wednesday 25th October 2017, Carbon Coop and Energy Democracy Greater Manchester launched a brand new, family-friendly immersive game, The Great Energy Escape, premiering at Manchester Museum as part of Manchester Science Festival 2017.
Families race against the clock to save the day, rebooting Greater Manchester’s energy network and transforming it in to a re-balanced, clean system in a immersive experience which is fun, involving and educational.
Set within a fictional Greater Manchester Energy System Control Centre, the game features actors, video game interaction, tests of logic, problem solving, ingenuity and a large scale, interactive game to refigure Manchester's energy to make it cleaner, more stable and more affordable.
Commenting on the games launch, Laura Williams from Carbon Coop said:
‘Players take on the role of today’s energy experts in a race against time to avoid black outs, stop runaway climate change and keep the whole system in balance. If younger people are going to meet these challenges head on, we hope being given the opportunity to learn about these issues through a fun and immersive game will be the perfect way to introduce the topic and enthuse any future energy scientists and engineers.’.
At the heart of the Great Energy Escape, participants must work together to re-order the city's notional energy system, using game counters to represent different forms of energy such as wind and coal, and different technologies such as smart grids and smart grids.
Working in turn through the 'energy trilemma' they must first ensure the city region generates sufficient power, secondly that costs are kept affordable and thirdly that carbon emission targets are met. Players find that the task is made easier with special pieces such as smart grids, battery storage and energy efficiency.
The game was launched by Councillor Ageliki Stogia who represents the Whalley Range ward of Manchester City Council, she says:
“As a Local Authority we face great challenges in assisting with the adaptation of our city's future energy system, making sure our energy is clean, keeps the lights on whilst being affordable and tackling issues such as fuel poverty. Initiatives such as the Great Energy Escape help citizens understand these huge challenges and will enable them to assist us in making those big decisions that lie ahead.”
The game has been designed in collaboration with Manchester based creatives , BAFTA-winning creative technologist and digital artist Dan Hett, performer and script writer Natasha Hodgson, urban design consultancy URBED and designers M3 Industries. Carbon Co-op have overseen project development and the technical energy system content of the game.
Though the run at the Science Festival is completely sold out, Carbon Co-op plan to tour the game to new cities and educational institutes and are currently seeking partner organisations to facilitate this.
The game runs until Sunday 29th October 2017, the Great Energy Escape is supported by Electricity North West, Lush Cosmetics and the Seedbed Trust.
You can find out more here.
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Spokes people from Carbon Coop and Energy Democracy Greater Manchester are available for comment and interviews.
Contact Laura Williams on 0781 245 4534 / firstname.lastname@example.org
 Established in 2011, Carbon Co-op is a Greater Manchester-based not for profit community energy organisation that assists its members to make big reductions in their energy usage. They specialise in delivering whole-house energy efficiency retrofit and smart grid solutions for their members and the wider community.
Energy Democracy Greater Manchester is a campaign to encourage greater citizen involvement and ownership in the energy system, they are working towards a citizen and worker-owned municipal energy company that operates for the benefit of its members and the environment.
 For more Manchester Science Festival 2017 events visit their website here.
 The game has been designed in collaboration with three Manchester-based creative technologist and digital artist Dan Hett, [https://www.danhett.com/] who has won BAFTA’s for his previous work on Cbeebies, has lead on the game-play and tech elements. Performer and script writer Natasha Hodgson has worked on bringing the games’ character alive and is set to make a guest appearance. Urban designers URBED [http://www.urbed.coop] have contributed specialist energy system research work to the game. Artists and designers M3 Industries [http://www.m3industries.co.uk] have created a full set ready to transform Manchester Museum’s basement into a 70s style energy control centre.