Chevron ran a spread in yesterday's Wall Street Journal announcing a game called Energyville in which we are challenged to choose the best energy policy for our city while minimizing economic, environmental and security impact.
At first glance the game, which was developed by The Economist Group, seems like a smart way for Chevron to involve consumers in the debate and allow us reach smart and sensible conclusions on our own. More so than yet another big oil TV commercial on Sunday Morning news programs, the engagement and interactivity of Energyville creates the potential to educate people on the opportunities and realities of alternative energy sources while also making a realistic case for the role of oil in our country's future energy policy.
The let down for me was its heavy-handedness. About halfway through powering my city I received a lecture on the need for oil. This singlehandedly diminished any objectivity or usefulness I had ascribed to Energyville.
Chevron needs to assume its consumers are smart. Let us reach our own conclusions about the need for oil as we discover through trial and error that the energy choices we made are inadequate to meet demand. Don't hit me with the propaganda in the middle of the game. As somebody once told me, leave some room in the mousetrap for the mouse.