Creating a Web-based gaming simulation for green electricity consumption

Kanae Matsui shows the results of her YSSP project on developing a Web-based gaming simulation to gain a better understanding of people's decisions related to energy consumption.

K. Matsui

K. Matsui


To better understand energy-consumption-related decisions, a Web-based gaming simulation was developed. The gaming simulation itself has different definitions and roles; one is to provide a virtual world, and then monitor how people react toward new or complicated scenarios [1][2]. We developed a Web-based gaming simulation tool regarding a liberalization of the electricity market leading to free choice on the residential demand side, that is,  consumers with preferences for renewable energy can also switch to energy contracts including a higher portion of green power. The gaming simulation is designed to detect behavioral patterns in the context of new concepts or regulations in society;  liberalization of electricity serves as an example here. Participants would experience living in a country where liberalization is introduced. After developing the gaming simulation, which is called Green Energy Consumption “GEC,”  we conducted experiments via the Internet using a Web browser.


This research applies the gaming simulation method for collecting individuals' decision-making process data. The participants enter a world where the liberalization of electricity markets is introduced, which means that they can select one from multiple electricity providers with different portfolios. In this game, their role is to decide on an electricity provider. Players represent a family of four, living in a detached house in a country with four seasons. The main distinguishing features of the different portfolios are their cost and their emission profile. In this game, the participants can select 4 providers which generate electricity by a) hydro energy, b) biomass energy, c) solar and wind power, d) fossil fuel and nuclear energy. To acquire information about the participants, GEC administers a questionnaire before and after the gaming simulation to collect the participants' background data.

Results and Conclusions

First, the data collected via GEC is analyzed. The data sets have 1) personal information, i.e., education level, monthly income and electricity usage, 2) decision-making process data, i.e., which providers they choose. To date, we have had about 20 participants (note that this is work in progress and that there will be ultimately be 100 people in the sample). Preliminary results show that the participants who are living in the country where liberalization has already been introduced tend to prefer realistic and complicated simulation results because they have knowledge about liberalization in their daily life. On the other hand, participants who are living in countries where liberalization has not been introduced prefer simpler scenarios. The results display differences determined by the participants' backgrounds. As a next step, we should consider deciding on specific filters, i.e,. people's education level and whether they have a knowledge base or not, so as to better analyze people's decision-making process data. 


[1] TSUCHIYA, Tomoaki; TSUCHIYA, Shigehisa. The unique contribution of gaming/simulation: towards establishment of the discipline. INTERNATIONAL SIMULATION AND GAMING RESEARCH YEARBOOK, 1999, 7: 46-57.

[2] MAYER, Igor S., et al. Collaborative decision making for sustainable urban renewal projects: a simulation-gaming approach. Environment and Planning B: planning and design, 2005, 32.3: 403-423.


Kanae Matsui, of the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University, Japan, is a Japanese citizen. She was funded by IIASA's Japanese National Member Organization, and worked in the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program during the YSSP.

Please note these Proceedings have received limited or no review from supervisors and IIASA program directors, and the views and results expressed therein do not necessarily represent IIASA, its National Member Organizations, or other organizations supporting the work.

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Last edited: 19 August 2015


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