Statnett developed a gaming app for mobile devices dealing with the topic of grid expansion in order to increase knowledge of and interest in energy, electricity, the power system, the green electric future and related topics among the general public and stakeholders.
BALANCE was launched in 2015 and became a rapid success. An English version was introduced in 2016. It is designed for long-term use and there will be frequent updates, such as a possibility for players to design their own levels.
For most people the power grid system is an area of low interest. At the same time, Statnett is aware that the level of knowledge among their stakeholders’ influences in what way they regard Statnett’s services. BALANCE is a part of an overarching effort to make the power system relevant and attractive, whilst creating positive expectations for an electric future.
BALANCE was designed to be playful, fun and simple whilst still conveying a relevant message about the power system to the users. Gamers are presented with the challenge to secure power supply to communities and cities by avoiding blackouts, ensuring that the power grids are functional, and that the right amount of power is produced at all times – to keep the balance.
Before Christmas 2015, BALANCE was the second most popular game in Norway. Today, with an English version available, the game has more than 3 million downloads worldwide, and figures are growing by 10-15,000 every day. Statnett has gathered a first round of feedback and found that the game seems to serve the purpose they created it for. In fact, trust in Statnett is 19 percentage points higher among players of BALANCE compared to the general public, and perceived knowledge about Statnett and the power system is 23 percentage points higher.
The game is a new concept that Statnett developed from scratch together with the agency Hyper Games, and with Tech Centres from around Norway providing continuous feedback during the development phase.