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Blackout! Classroom Edition
June 13, 2018 (v1)
Keywords: Classroom Workshop, Electricity Grid, Energy Markets, Game Theory, Open Source, Video Game
Blackout! Is a classroom game (suitable for middle school and up to and including university students) which simulates open electricity markets. Up to eight players compete on the open market to build power plants, bid on sale prices, and deliver the most electricity to their customers. Demand changes each turn (one simulation hour) over the course of a day. The game helps to teach about the trade-offs between different kinds of power plants, such as cost (capital cost vs. operating cost), reliability (thermal vs. renewables), flexibilty (such as base-load vs. peaking power), and so on. The current version includes wind, solar, nuclear, coal, and natural gas based power plants. Also included in this submission are sample workshop materials (i.e. instructional slides) useful in a classroom setting. Please see also the linked academic research article discussing the statistical outcomes of using the game with middle and high school students.