Green gaming is reality: Industry stalwarts pledge for climate change at UN

Green gaming is a reality. The companies behind PlayStation, Xbox, Angry Birds, Minecraft, Twitch and other video games and platforms vowed at the U.N. to scale up efforts to fight climate change and get their throngs of users involved. The promises range from planting trees to reducing plastic packaging, from making game devices more energy-efficient to incorporating environmental themes into the games themselves. “I believe games and gamers can be a force for social change and would love to see our global community unite to help our planet to survive and thrive,” Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders accordin to a report . Some games already reflect climate concerns. But it got new visibility with Monday’s commitments from 21 companies, announced on the sidelines of the gathering. With an estimate of more than 2 billion video game players globally, “this is the most powerful mobilization channel in the world,” David Paul, the Marshall Islands’ environment minister, told the gaming CEOs. His low-lying Pacific island homeland faces an existential threat from rising seas as the planet warms. Sony Interactive Entertainment’s plans include outfitting the next-generation PlayStation system with a low-power, suspend-play mode. Microsoft plans 825,000 carbon-neutral Xbox consoles. The idea of gaming green got new visibility with Monday’s commitments from 21 companies, facilitated by the UN Environment Program and showcased against the backdrop of Monday’s UN climate summit. Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment is offsetting carbon emissions generated by players charging electronic devices. Strange Loop Games already has ecological issues at the heart of its simulation game Eco. Players collaborate to build a civilisation and confront its impacts on the environment. If they cut down too many trees, for example, they might kill off a species.