Mitchell Myers, Caroline Liu, Arturo Chavez, Alicia Ouyang

Boston’s natural gas pipes are prone to corrosion and leaks due to their age, so we want to raise awareness in our local community. We looked at the natural gas dataset, and decided to focus on “lost” leaks and “found leaks. “Found” leaks are natural gas leaks that have been are recorded by the natural gas utilities through the years as unrepaired. In contrast, “lost leaks” are leaks that were recorded as “unrepaired”, but disappeared in following years from the records without being recorded as “repaired”. We want to tell the story of “lost leaks” because natural gas leaks are often colorless, yet have major consequences by contributing to greenhouse gases, creating fire hazards, and increases financial costs on residents. Our goal in creating our combined game of minesweeper and Boston/Cambridge maps is to teach local residents about the “lost leaks” problem, and lobby for stricter accountability measures on utility companies.

Our audience would encounter Leaksweeper through social media sharing, by the advocacy group or petition signers. We choose to use small maps around specific districts and neighborhoods since people know the areas around where they live or where they work. We encourage interaction through the minesweeper interface overlay, where the mines represent the natural gas leaks. Since we have different types of leaks, flags already mark the “found” leaks when the game begins. The goal of the player is to flag all the “lost” leaks while avoiding clicking on them. A consequence of natural gas leaks are explosions, and we wanted the audience to explore the map, so we believed representing the leaks by exploding mines in a game of minesweeper is an effective way to bring our message across. At the end of the game, we urge the player to take action by visiting petition website, https://bostoncan.org/ma-gas-leaks-and-pipelines/ , and share the game.