“There are many Do we need warnings? Science is clear, it is clear. “
Author and Researcher ben abraham very angry. We spoke in April just days after the IPCC released its most controversial report. It stressed that in order to keep warming to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target, humans would need to cut emissions by 43% by 2030. Talking to me via Zoom from his home in Sydney, Abraham wants more direct action – definitely a protest – but there are also people in the industry who are agitating for change and applying different grassroots pressures. “It’s the only game in town right now,” he said. “How do we prevent our planet from being boiled alive?”
For the video game industry—from indie developers, AAA studios, hardware makers to gamers themselves—Abraham’s new book, The numbers game after climate change, there is an answer. It provides a panorama, systems view of the entire industry, illuminating how many people’s favorite hobbies, often their escape from bad news, are actually exacerbating the climate crisis. While writing the book’s introduction in 2019, Abraham thought about how he experienced this fact as a child playing games in his parents’ attic in Australia’s sweltering heat. The room was already stuffy without air conditioning, but with so many energy consuming devices on – consoles, CRT TVs, PCs and monitors – it became almost unbearable. These video games are powered by electricity from burning fossil fuels and exist in a feedback loop with the atmosphere.
lack of leadership
According to Evan Mills, the game’s thirst for energy has only risen since the 1990s, and he is seminal paper on this subject. Increased graphics intensity leads to increased power consumption, online multiplayer games require players’ devices and energy-intensive data centers, and the increasingly smaller chips of modern consoles require more power due to the hyper-controlled conditions they are exposed to. Remanufactured (including air filtration and chemical treatment). Despite the general increase in energy efficiency of modern devices, Abraham writes: “In general, gaming remains a leisure activity — and it is currently a relatively carbon-intensive activity,” writes Abraham.
Abraham noted that leading game console makers and digital content producers Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have varied carbon commitments. Microsoft plans to be carbon negative by 2030 — “ambitious, but achievable,” Abraham said.Sony, meanwhile, had previously only made vague promises of a “zero environmental footprint” by 2050, and recently Announce Revised carbon neutrality target for 2040, and efforts to use 100% renewable energy in its own operations by 2030. (The company did not respond to a request for comment when contacted.)
At the same time, Nintendo has not made any commitments to carbon neutrality or environmental neutrality.Somewhat notably, Abraham points out difference When Nintendo reports its renewable energy usage, it’s 98 percent, according to its 2019 corporate social responsibility report. In the following year’s CSR report, what should have been the same number as in 2019 had turned into just 4.2%. Abraham attributes the error to the confusion of kWh and MWh, but believes the company failed to accurately report its own numbers (which he also criticized) EA) indicates a failure to take the issue seriously. (When contacted by Nintendo, Nintendo declined to comment on the discrepancies in the reports, pointing instead to its recent Corporate Social Responsibility Report It states that its use of renewable energy is now 44%. )
These different approaches reflect an industry that “lacks leadership,” the researchers said.The closest the industry has come to this is fight for earth, a UN Environment program involving gaming companies such as Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft. The existence of such an organization to exert pressure and provide guidance is critical, but its impact is ultimately limited, Abraham said. “We still need regulatory intervention, legal frameworks and energy efficiency standards,” he continued.As an example of this strategy, Abraham cites recent legislation in California that imposes strict limits on the power consumption of electronic devices, Dell no longer shipping Some of its power-hungry Alienware gaming PCs made their way to the state. He said the law was currently “pretty generous” but could be strengthened in the future as the climate crisis worsens.
What is an ecological video game?
One of the ways game makers might want to promote change is through the games themselves.title such as beyond blue, ecologyand terminator The use of climate and environmental themes as a means of education and persuasion builds on author Jane McGonigal’s view that games and their game systems can cause changes in thinking, behavior, and even the world.
Abraham, however, remains unconvinced that gaming has the potential to affect people to the extent needed for the climate crisis. “It makes perfect sense. If you’re a game developer, you want to use your skills to help solve problems,” he said. “But when I look at the challenges of convincing people around a controversial and ideological issue like climate, it doesn’t seem like a battle that can be won in this way.”