How can we learn to be better at using resources? Can we all be a little more consistent at turning out the lights when leaving a room, (our family was obsessive about this) — or barring the presence of an all seeing eye of the Google Nest Thermostat in your home — remember to turn down the heat before bedtime? Use less gas, without driving less?

Gamification

I’ll admit to having a little bit of a lead foot and I’m working on it. Games can help solve complex problems. In 2011, a group of gamers solved some difficult AIDS protein problems. Can gamified experiences in life go too far? Sure. Everything in moderation.

The gamification of learning is becoming popular to help shape behavior through positive reinforcement. This is probably much faster (and less frustrating) than having someone telling you how to drive properly. A good instructor, like my Great Uncle Emile, will go that extra mile and use story-telling and metaphor to help you ‘get it’ quickly with little frustration. Image a room temperature raw egg between your foot and each pedal. I’ll never forget that lesson. Most people do not have the knack for teaching that he has.

Since I started taking an occasional Car2Go for some trips to the office, I noticed I could actually enjoy seeing how well I could do on what they call their Eco Score. The little reward is seeing the images develop (only looking at the screen when the car is stopped in Seattle’s famously snarly traffic).

When you get a perfect 100 in all three Car2Go Eco Score categories, there’s a little reward. For the holidays it was Santa riding in his sleigh. Now, it’s a very unseasonably warm looking scene with a rainbow. Although, if memory serves, flowers should start popping out of the ground here in about three weeks.

Anyway… Here’s my high score for the new year. I hope to keep this up, and use the learned behavior in my own car. I can always fall back on the memory of the potential for scrambled egg shoes, in a pinch. Hopefully this tip will help put a little money back in your pockets. Gas prices are rising again. Oh, and don’t forget to check and maintain proper tire pressure… That helps save gas too.

See you in traffic.

20140115-221742.jpg

Leave a Reply