Learn to grow energy-efficient cucumbers with 'Kassim the game'

Published on
November 25, 2022

Horticultural educational institutions use 'Kassim the game' to teach students to grow energy-efficiently. The 'serious game' was developed by the Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs of Wageningen University & Research and was officially launched in June 2022. 'Kassim the game' is based on the WUR greenhouse simulation model Kaspro and a crop growth model for cucumber. In the coming year, the game (intended for practical education as well as universities) will be expanded with more crops, locations and parameters. The game is now also publicly available.

At the start of a game round the rules of the game are - for example by a teacher - determined and certain starting points can be entered, such as the plant density or the presence of an energy screen or artificial illumination. The player can then start growing the digital cucumbers in a fictitious greenhouse.

This allows the player to change the climate setpoints and choose a different screen strategy. In the game, the player will see AI generated images of the cucumbers grown. Those images are based on, among other things, the number of cucumbers that have been virtually grown and the fruit weight. At the end, the game shows how many cucumbers have been produced and how much energy has been used. The player who made the most profit wins.

In January 2022, the game was introduced during a national meeting of cucumber growers by students from Inholland. WUR received many positive responses. The game also received attention during the final event of the project Het Nieuwe Telen: Gas Erop! The game is now being used by, among others, Inholland in the curriculum and is increasingly finding its way into green education. Teachers say they find the game very useful: it gives students more insight into plant physiology topics and the game can also be used for training abroad.

An update of 'Kassim the game' will follow next spring. This will be expanded with other crops (such as tomato), other locations (such as Spain) and new models (such as water quality). The predecessor of the game, Kassim, will also receive an update: extra options for cooling and dehumidification and the Multitunnel greenhouse type can also be simulated in addition to the Venlo greenhouse.

Project Het Nieuwe Telen: Gas Erop!

WUR is developing 'Kassim the game' as part of the project Het Nieuwe Telen: Gas
Erop! The aim of this project is to disseminate knowledge through the education
of energy-efficient cultivation (HNT).