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Can saving energy be as cool as reversing time or saving Earth from an alien onslaught? A new startup certainly thinks so. Adaptive Meter, creator of web apps StickyChicken and Twitterlike, is currently developing an interactive game that pits users against each other in bets on others’ energy usage. Players will use smart-meter data from consenting participants, and will be able to stake virtual cash on whether they can reduce their energy use. They will also be able to trade virtual money for real rewards, and users without a smart meter can use this virtual wealth to encourage improved behavior in others. earth2tech reports that at its Green: Net Conference last week, the company (which presented as one of the “Startup LaunchPad 10”) asked “Wouldn’t it be cool if every time we unplugged an appliance or flipped a switch, somebody noticed?”

We’ll have to see if consumers agree. As earth2tech notes, maybe a cool idea for the next Facebook app? I can think of a few eco-cool former classmates who’d be happy to find Lost Joules. But will serious online gamers really pay top dollar for a game that monitors their energy use? And that’s assuming Adaptive Media will gain access to the data – another challenge to its potential success.

Place your own bets on this one: http://earth2tech.com/2009/03/29/playing-the-energy-conservation-game/#more-27337

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