Thought Different | The Race to 2050
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The Race to 2050

The Race to 2050 at The Cool Planet Experience marks Thought Different’s most complex installation to date. Race to 2050 is a unique multi-user immersive experience designed to teach children about their own impact on the planet’s climate. By playing a series of games they learn how small differences in their daily lives can effect their cities of the future. We were responsible for coming up with the original concept and taking the installation through storyboarding, scripting, wire-framing; through to delivery.

 

The Experience

Nine games were designed to illustrate key issues. Each of these 45 second games were created with three goals in mind. Only one sentence could describe to the user how to play; it had to subtly illustrate the problem at hand (eg. wasted food in supermarkets) and it had to be fun but challenging. The result has been a resounding success with children and adults alike.

 

On completion of a set of three games they are then rewarded for their hard work. The voice over explains how they have made a difference to the city and are shown the improvements as the city changes in front of them. For example after the transport sequence of games the traffic is greatly reduced, bus lanes and cycle paths appear with cyclists and public transport corridors. Car parks are replaced with green spaces and dirty petrol stations are converted to charging stations for electric cars. All these changes appear right in front of their eyes on the huge 8m 3D printed model through the use of projection mapping.

 

The entire experience lasts just over 15 minutes. However nobody notices the time passing and a common reaction during testing was simply – “Can we play it again?”.

 

By merging a creative idea with software and innovative technology, we can see we have achieved a huge goal. Helping children learn about big issues without them realising it; they think they are just having fun. Thought Different was nominated for Best Creative and won the award for Best Technology Innovation at the 2018 Digital Media Awards for their work on Race to 2050.

 

An excellent idea and use of technology to teach people (especially children) of the effects of climate change and how to protect our environment. The strategy is crystal clear from the start and the design of the set, the games, the video, voice-over, etc., is clear. I believe the results of this Race to 2050 experience will be huge...

... this Cool Planet thing is the best education-by-stealth experience we’ve ever had. I’d go as far as to say it was the best family outing we’ve ever been on.

Róisín Ingle — The Irish Times

Absolutely amazing games and projection mapping onto a model city with a fictional future goal...

Judges’ Comment — DMAs 2018

Awards

Nominated for European Museum of the Year (EMYA) 2019

Digital Media Award - Best in Technology Innovation 2018

Date

March 15, 2018

Category

Immersive, Interactive