Software or Source Code
Blackout! Classroom Edition
Jake Nease, Thomas A. Adams II*
December 12, 2019. Originally submitted on June 13, 2018
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.

An article in Chemical Engineering Education describing the game and educational research results concerning its use in the classroom is available at The full citation is Nease J, Adams TA II. BLACKOUT: Teaching Students about the Power Grid through Experiential Workshops and Video Gaming, Chemical Engineering Education, 53 (3) 167-177 (2019)
Classroom Workshop, Electricity Grid, Energy Markets, Game Theory, Open Source, Video Game
Suggested Citation
Nease J, Adams TA II. Blackout! Classroom Edition. (2019). LAPSE:2018.0136v2
Author Affiliations
Nease J: McMaster University
Adams TA II*: McMaster University [ORCID] [Google Scholar]
* Corresponding Author
[Login] to see author email addresses.
Publication Date
Version Comments
Added link to corresponding research paper
Other Meta
This software is provided as-is with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy, function, or support.
Requires installation on a web server with php and MySql support.
[Download] (4.4 MB)
Jun 13, 2018
All Blackout Files
Jun 13, 2018
Record Statistics
Record Views
Version History
[v2] (Added link to corresponding research pap...)
Dec 12, 2019
[v1] (Original Submission)
Jun 13, 2018
Verified by curator on
Jun 13, 2018
This Version Number
Most Recent
This Version
URL Here
Original Submitter
Thomas A. Adams II