For my 2007 end of course exhibition I decided that I would try to make a piece of art that would highlight the cost to the planet of leaving electrical appliances on standby. I tried a few things, but eventually stuck on the photos I’d been taking of the LEDs present in objects left in a ‘stand by’ state. By cranking up the exposure and taking the photos with as little background light as possible I was able to create images like the one you see here. I used these images to create an Adobe Flash game that rewarded the player for switching off (read: clicking on) these LED lights. The more lights switched off, the higher the score you would accrue.
This is the start of my interest in games as a medium to express a social or ideological message, the eventual subject of my dissertation while at the University of the West of Scotland. Having done some research on the subject since then I can see ways that I could have made it better. While you are switching off lights, just rewarding the player with a score doesn’t demonstrate the environmental impact of appliances on stand by mode.
edit: To save bandwidth I’ve removed this file from the site as I created it without taking its size into consideration. It can be seen and played in full here. It’s a 4.5Mb SWF file so it may take some time to display on even quite fast connections. If you want to download the SWF file directly you can do so here.