bp gets virtual

Company markets itself through new video game.

Electronic Arts and BP have teamed up to provide a cleaner environment–in the virtual world. The video game manufacturer and the big oil company have collaborated to include climate change education within SimCity Societies, the next iteration of the city-building game. BP’s logo appears in the game as a provider of alternative energy, according to Environmental Dealer.com.

According to the report, BP engineers consulted with EA programmers in designing the power and pollution models in the games and in attempting to make them reflect real trade-offs.

Players are made aware of pollution concerns by playing through various scenarios. For example, the least expensive and most readily available buildings in the game are also the biggest producers of carbon dioxide. If players choose to build cities dependent on these kinds of sources for power to conserve their in-game money, their carbon ratings will rise and, at reaching critical levels. On the other hand, players can create a greener environment and avoid hazards caused by choosing from a variety of BP Alternative Energy low-carbon power options like hydrogen, natural gas, wind farms and solar power.

All types of clean systems–such as wind farms, natural gas plants and solar farms–are branded with the BP logo, and so are the fuel stations in the game.

BP paid Electronic Arts to have its logo included in the game, though they would not disclose the amount. BP will also help distribute a demonstration version of the game online and possibly at BP gas stations, according to the website.

“The time was right for this partnership. EA was developing the next iteration of the SimCity series at the same time that we were looking for opportunities to raise awareness about low-carbon power choices,” said Carol Battershell, Vice President, BP Alternative Energy.

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