XSTIG: When we play Alter Space the planet wins

It's not just a fun online game. Alter Space is the first Filipino online game on Facebook that teaches gamers how they can help protect the planet. For blogger Richard Mamuyac, playing Alter Space improved his perspective regarding environmental concerns—it also helped him get his very own iPad 2. He won the iPad after getting proclaimed the grand winner in a contest sponsored by AbotizPower (PSE ticker symbol: AP) for Nuffnang bloggers.

In Alter Space, players learn how to make sensible, practical choices in their daily life—all of which help reduce the effects of global warming and climate change, and decrease carbon emissions in our atmosphere—while simultaneously enjoying the game.

These choices are presented as part of various tasks and mini-games that the player has to accomplish, across increasing levels of difficulty and rewards. Alter Space was developed by AboitizPower as part of its advocacy to promote a sustainable, planet-friendly lifestyle. Ultimately, adopting such a lifestyle will preserve and protect the planet for future generations.

AboitizPower also does its own environmental efforts by providing and promoting Cleanergy, its brand of clean and renewable energy. By doing these, AboitizPower helps ensure that its business does not harm the environment and protects the health of its host communities.

Richard, who blogs at Astig Machisms (http://astig316.blogspot.com), is networked at the bloggers advertising site, Nuffnang. Bloggers who joined the contest were asked to blog about the topic “What you can do to encourage people to save the environment?” His blog post bested 63 submitted entries.

“Playing Alter Space makes me proud to be Filipino because it is the very first Pinoy-made Facebook environmental game. Another testament that we have an amazing talent. Plus the fact that you don't just enjoy the game, you learn how to save the environment in simple deeds,” says Richard.

Richard wrote about his experience playing Alter Space in his blog and that entry (found at: http://astig316.blogspot.com/2011/04/alter-space-technology-to-inspire.html) made him win the Alter Space bloggers competition.

“Of course, the iPad 2 as a prize is very enticing. But what made me decide to join the contest is because I have a story to share. I thought that in my own little way, in this case through blogging, I can convince others to make a difference in saving our environment,” says Richard.

Richard says he became concerned about disasters and the welfare of the planet when the news about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan spread through the Web. It was while he was posting a comment on a friend’s video on Facebook that he learned about Alter Space.

He became so interested in Alter Space that he wrote in his blog:

“AboitizPower is the bighearted company who came up of the idea of giving gamers a fun way to learn practical tips on earth-friendly living. This means a lifestyle that helps reduce the effects of global warming, climate change and carbon emissions on the planet."

“I think this game is very timely and relevant, not to mention the great fun you’ll have while playing. I want to describe this innovative game as ASTIG for Alter Space is a Technology to Inspire a Generation. AboitizPower is definitely using the right platform to reach out to the online community and make them aware of the need to do something for our beloved Mother Earth.”

Personal stake

Richard says that his blog entry about Alter Space became something personal because he wrote it during the time when he was reading up on the recent disasters in Japan and other calamities that threaten the planet, especially the man-made ones.

“My entry is a combination of what I have read in the news online and on broadsheets and the features and documentaries on TV that I've watched. I also shared my fears as a parent. I just want my son to enjoy a better and safer world,” he says.

Richard adds that purely as a game, he enjoys playing Alter Space—but the advocacy behind it also changed his perspective. “The game will test users to balance happiness, money and carbon footprints in the planet to avoid disaster. In a way, playing Alter Space challenges my prioritizing skills. Honestly, saving the environment is not in my short list of my priorities in life. But playing this game made me realize that I can help and take part in making our world a better place to live in,” he explains.

Together with that change in perspective came a sense of urgency. Richard says that he now not only applies the lessons in Alter Space in his every day life, he also encourages others to play the game as well.

“It made me more aware of the urgency for people to work hand in hand in saving our planet --- the only one that we have. I wrote an entry about Alter Space in my advocacy blog called Mapagbigay ka ba? (http://mapagbigaykaba.blogspot.com). I also informed my friends via Facebook and Twitter,” he says.

Richard adds that the various trivia that are flashed during the game are very helpful in teaching users how to care for the environment and live in a sustainable manner. “One trivia information says that LED lights uses less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs. I found that one to be most useful. Being a family man, I am always on the look out for energy-saving tips and practical advice for homes. Playing Alter Space inspired me to a little wiser in my decisions not only for my family but for the environment as well. Today, all our rooms in the house use LEDs for their lighting,” he reveals.

New Alter Space apps

Aside from the game, Alter Space’s Facebook page has introduced two new applications that empower users even more when it comes to protecting the environment. The apps are the “Carbon Footprint (CF) Calculator” and the “Cleanergy Charger Monitor”.

The Alter Space CF Calculator helps an individual measure his personal “carbon footprint” (the amount of carbon emissions from a certain activity) so he or she can make lifestyle changes and choose activities that leave a smaller carbon footprint. Keeping one’s carbon footprint small reduces the amount of carbon in the atmosphere—this in turn reduces the effects of global warming and climate change.

The Alter Space CF Calculator measures the amount of carbon footprint that each of the user’s activities leaves behind. After a user enters the type of activity, the app will compute the size of the carbon footprint. So the app serves as a guide for the user on what activities to do less or avoid, and which activities to choose more often. Choosing activities that leave smaller carbon footprints helps lessen global warming and protects the environment.

On the other hand, the Cleanergy Charger Monitor is a dowloadable app for cellphones. It alerts you when your phone has a full charge. The alert reminds you that, by unplugging the charger, you are also protecting the planet in your own way.

If millions of Facebook users play Alter Space, download these apps and use them in their daily routine, they will not only help reduce the planet’s total carbon emissions—they will also adapt a more sustainable, Earth-friendly lifestyle that will benefit future generations.

So log-on to www.facebook.com/AlterSpaceGame, download these new apps, and do your part in protecting our planet and environment for future generations.

AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, retail and power services. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy in the Philippines, with several hydroelectric and geothermal assets in its generation portfolio and also has non-renewable power plants located across the country. The company owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (For more details, please visit:www.abotizpower.com and www.cleanergy.com.ph.)

Alter Space blog contest winner Richard Mamuyac, in his own way, has done his part in saving the environment by raising awareness about the first Filipino online, environmental game on Facebook.

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