FAQ

The Game relies upon The Natural Step’s System Conditions for Sustainability.

In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing…

  1. concentrations of substances from the earth’s crust (such as fossil CO2 and heavy metals)
  2. concentrations of substances produced by society (such as antibiotics and endocrine disruptors)
  3. degradation by physical means (such as deforestation and draining of groundwater tables).
  4. And in that society there are no structural obstacles to people’s health, influence, competence, impartiality and meaning.

Source: http://www.thenaturalstep.org/our-approach/

The System Conditions are applicable to both businesses (for the design of products and services, and all of their operation) and for citizens. As citizens we can choose to only consume products and services from businesses that are committed, through tangible action, to becoming fully sustainable.

The Carbon Cut Challenge, by being focused on the reduction of CO2e emissions from citizens, primarily addresses only one aspect of System Condition #1. Society is currently systematically emitting far more fossil fuel than the acceptable upper limit (a concentration of 350ppm CO2) for maintaining a stable temperature range in Earth’s atmosphere.  While System Condition #4 is also addressed via Well-being Challenge opportunities, the intention is to expand the Sustainable Lifestyles Game to fully encompass all four System Conditions.

Well-being is a construct; and well-being, not happiness, is the topic of positive psychology. Well-being has five measurable elements (PERMA) that count toward it:

  • Positive emotion (Of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects)
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning and purpose
  • Accomplishment

No one element defines well-being, but each contributes to it. Some aspects of these five elements are measured subjectively by self-report, but other aspects are measured objectively.

The above definition is an excerpt from the UPenn.edu website. To read the full one-page article, see https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/learn/wellbeing

All games share four defining traits:  a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.

  • The goal is the specific outcome that players will work to achieve. It focuses their attention and continually orients their participation throughout the game. The goal provides players with a sense of purpose.
  • The rules place limitations on how players can achieve the goal. By removing or limiting the obvious ways of getting to the goal, the rules push players to explore previously uncharted possibility spaces. They unleash creativity and foster strategic thinking.
  • The feedback system tells players how close they are to achieving the goal. It can take the form of points, levels, a score, or a progress bar. Or, in its most basic form, it can be as simple as the player’s knowledge of an objective outcome: “The game is over when…” Real-time feedback serves as a promise to the players that the goal is definitely achievable, and it provides motivation to keep playing.
  • Voluntary participation requires that everyone who is playing the game knowingly and willingly accepts the goal, the rules, and the feedback. Knowingness establishes common ground for multiple people to play together. And the freedom to enter or leave a game at will ensures that intentionally stressful and challenging work is experienced as safe and pleasurable activity.

Source: p. X, McGonigal, Jane, Reality Is Broken – Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World