Bad Air Day: How a Video Game can Help Utah’s Air Quality Problem

cleaning air

cleaning airAll it takes is to walk out of your Utah home any time from October to February to know why air quality is a big problem for the state, and why it’s on the forefront of every resident’s preparations come the winter months.

Going Against with the Wind

Utahans have been complaining for several years now about the air quality problem in the state, especially in northern part. A lot of solutions have been proposed, including several legislations, but these have yet to pass Congress.

Some of the proposals include a statewide ban on wood burning during winter months, more mass transport options, more emissions testing, and giving the state power to propose and impose stricter air quality standards.

Utah-based HVAC company HartmanHeating.com explains that air quality is a big issue in their state. Poor air quality has drastic effects on public health and happiness. The company supports the initiative of other sectors to inform everyone about the problem. Young adults, in particular, and their understanding about the air quality problem can really make a difference.

Bad Air Day

For now, people only have proposals for solutions, but what if the solutions were actually implemented? You can now find out through a video game.

The game was created by Entertainment Arts and Engineering students from the University of Utah, in cooperation with different organizations, including Breath Utah, the Utah Education Network, the Utah Division of Air Quality, and the Utah Health Department.

The game, Bad Air Day, was jointly created by students of the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering program, Breathe Utah, the Utah Education Network, the Utah Health Department and the Utah Division of Air Quality.

Users get to understand the intricacies of the state’s air quality issues, as they play the part of a make-believe mayor, make policy decisions about air quality, add their personal decisions, and see the results. The “mayor” will see how people like his policies by the number of votes he collects.

The game will get its first test run in high school classrooms across the state this winter. It is, however, available for free download to PC and Mac users at BadAirDay.org.

Understanding the murky air problem is key to solving it, and the makers of the game believe it has a strong chance to make a real difference in Utah.