Computer Games and Sustainable Transportation

Screen shot from GreenCityStreets Busmeister public transport operations game.

Educational games like my BusMeister project can help improve the quality of crowdsourced ideas.

I recently attended the “City and Transport Congress (German)” sponsored by the Zurich public transport operator (VBZ) and the ETH Institute of Transport Planning and Systems (IVT). I presented the beta version of our Bus Meister game to conference delegates and watched while they played through the levels. In my discussions with players and fellow conference delegates I became even more convinced that games can be part of the process of making transportation more sustainable.A key question from the conference was how to address the conflicts over limited streetspace. For example, how do we find space for exclusive public transport lanes on congested streets? The main idea behind Bus Meister is to educate regular people so that they can better understand why public transport needs its own lane, and then, I hope, these people will help support public transport improvements in the political arena (we are building a social network as part of the game to help encourage political involvement).

Bus Meister is still in beta, but we are making great progress. The social network is coming too. In the meantime, for more information about games, here are some links:

Please add your links and ideas to the comments!

Andy Nash

March 17, 2011

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