1.1. Introduction


Partial screenshot of the Kukui Cup challenge, built using Makahiki.

1.1.1. Goals

Makahiki is an open source “serious game engine for sustainability”. It provides a framework for creating serious games for the purpose of education and behavioral change regarding energy, water, food, and waste generation and use.

The initial version of Makahiki (Version 1) was developed in support of first Kukui Cup energy challenge held at the University of Hawaii in Fall, 2011. Some of the goals of the Kukui Cup challenge are to support:

  • A synergistic mixture of real-world and virtual world activities.
  • Real-time feedback on energy consumption by residence hall teams.
  • Incentives in the form of prizes and raffle games.
  • Social networks, both physical (residence hall teams) and virtual (Facebook).
  • Activities to raise player consciousness and literacy regarding energy issues.

Makahiki 2 builds upon the prior version with the following new features:

  • The ability to tailor system functionality to support the requirements of different organizations.
  • Support for PaaS (Platform as a Service) facilities such as Heroku. This enables organizations to create and deploy challenges without obtaining physical hardware and its requisite IT support.
  • The ability to extend the framework with new modules to support sustainable resource challenges such as water, food, and waste in addition to energy.
  • The use of HTML5/CSS3 “responsive” design techniques for support of laptop, tablet, and smart phone interfaces.
  • Real-time game analytics to help assess the impact of game mechanics during challenges.
  • A-B testing to support research evaluation of components by deploying alternative versions to subsets of the population. (Under development)

1.1.3. Research Publications

We maintain a online list of research publications on Makahiki.

1.1.4. Contact Us

For more information about this project, please contact the director:

Professor Philip Johnson
Information and Computer Sciences
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822

Of course, the vast majority of work has been done by talented graduate students at the University of Hawaii, including: George Lee, Yongwen Xu, and Robert Brewer.

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