Play Energy: electrification becomes gaming for Gen Z
Bringing Generation Z closer to the themes of electrification. This is the challenge that the Enel Group, together with Campus Party, has launched for the new edition of Play Energy, a competition for young people in eight countries around the world: Italy, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Greece and the United States.
Play Energy is a project dedicated to Gen Z that adopts the dynamics of the contest to create awareness and promote, through play, the values of sustainability, innovation and the conscious use of energy.
How to connect boys and girls aged 14 to 20 with Enel’s strategic issues? Compared to previous editions, the project has been entirely revolutionized through gaming, creating a highly immersive sci-fi storyline and designing an entirely new infotainment game mode. Setting, gameplay, illustrations, UX: all concur to enhance the user experience and make the game more engaging and challenging.
The story begins in the present day, in the world we all know. Some kids discover that the game platform is actually a tool for dialogue with the future.
Here, the eLight community is looking for a way to counter the power of the mysterious Alpha corporation, which wants to keep up the global propensity to use fossil fuels, with its consequences for the environment.
The eLight have discovered that it is possible to send messages into the past, and they are using this possibility to proselytize in our own time in order to correct the course of events
Changing the past to save the future!
Over the course of two seasons, eLights tackle a series of quests on electrification topics in an educational and growth path to become Electrification Champions.
The weekly trials are divided into Main Quest and Side Quest.
The former represent the most complex evolutionary and narrative nodes and are also the most challenging quests in the game, which can be accomplished as a team (Crew) to increase the score.
Side Quests, on the other hand, are simpler and quicker quests, such as quizzes and interactive games, for example, solving an associative memory about renewable energy communities or identifying the correct images associated with green hydrogen in a timed game.
Worldbuilding supports the narrative and allows players to feel fully immersed in the playful activity.
As the story and missions progress and through their own positive actions, players will see the game scenarios improve from a polluted status to an increasingly sustainable one, helping to save the Planet.
Cultural and visual references refer to the sci-fi imagery of the 1960s, such as the famous worldbuilding of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and to the more recent universe created by Simon Stålenhag for Tales from the Loop.
Since the target audience is the very young, the superhero universe has also not been left out, with inspirations from the Marvel world as well.
Attention to detail in this narrative universe has also been extended to all the side dynamics that often contribute greatly to sustaining the suspension of disbelief necessary to accept the playful pact.
A rich set of avatars from which players can choose has been designed, taking into consideration several variables and representations. Each avatar has also been designed from an evolutionary perspective: from an initial stage to an enhanced one, appropriate for Electrification Champion status.
With each level transition, the avatar evolves.
Upon passing quests, moreover, characters gain different equipment – props – that not only enrich the avatar visually, but also become actual in-game items that offer benefits and perks.
The graphical user interface harmonizes the Enel Group’s guidelines with the visual codes and styles of the game, and the user experience is mobile-first and with responsiveness for all touchpoints.
To facilitate the gaming and immersion experience, the entire platform has been translated into the four languages of its users: Italian, English, LATAM Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese.
In addition, to optimize user experience and accessibility, an audio version, also multilingual, of all narrative parts has been introduced.
An extensive communication campaign was orchestrated to launch the project, which also landed on Twitch and directly involved the top management of the Enel Group.
Customized portraits of each of the top managers were designed in the style of Play Energy avatars.
As genuine Electrification Champions, the managers thus conveyed diverse messages on LinkedIn, emphasizing the commitment of the individual business lines on Enel’s different value and content areas.
The campaign was also accompanied by a toolkit dedicated to Group Countries and for internal communication, with which to promote the project within the guidelines and through the corporate population.
We had fun becoming Electrification Experts for Gen Z Electrification Champions to play (and learn).
In collaboration with
Ludo Labo (game design and screenplay)
Mirco Pierfederici, Vincenzo Lamolinara, Matteo Parente, Stefano Rutigliano (illustrations)
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