Why start EcoGamer?

Launching a site about playing games and protecting the environment is niche, even for an industry which makes products about carefully driving lorries through realistic European roads.

Plenty of things pollute far more than video games, or so we assume. Farming, fashion and transportation are universally named and shamed as planet killers, long before video games get a name check. It’s little wonder that most people are able to keep real world annihilation out of their minds while traipsing around fictional post-apocalyptic playgrounds.

But playing games could be far more damaging to the future of our planet than you’d think. According to a study by The Computer Games Journal {Link} published at the end of last year video games are responsible for the production of 24 million metric tons of carbon emissions. And that’s before you consider the mountains of video game boxes, E.T cartridges, Blu-ray disks and Nintendo Power Gloves piling up in our landfills for the next 10,000 years.

This is the kind of stuff we worry about at EcGamer and we know it’s not just us. Climate change has got foodies changing their diets, jetsetters adapting their travel plans and fashionistas rummaging through charity shops and thrift shops to reduce their environmental impact.

It’s now our turn to take on the video games industry’s worst environmental excesses, we just need to figure out how to do it.

We’re not going to be able to provide all the answers. We’re amateur environmentalist at best and our video game tech knowledge would make Digital Foundry weep. But what we can do is pull together environmental stories which are relevant to gaming and gaming stories that have an impact on the environment in one place. We’ll intersperse these with features, how-tos and reports on our own efforts towards environmentally-friendly gaming.

Obviously this won’t do much to slow down what’s coming, but perhaps it will help one or two people get a handle on their carbon emissions, and it’ll at least get us thinking about our own.

As I write this, Australia is in the midst of recovering from bushfires that ravaged the country’s wildlife and Antarctica has just logged the hottest temperature on record. But there’s still a real danger that the world will go back to keeping climate change in the back of their minds until the next climate change catastrophe, despite the ever decreasing periods between climate change catastrophes. In times like these, the voices that don’t die down are the most important to keep the conversation going. 

We think it’s vital that those responsible for the medium we love know that our voices won’t die down either. Our community isn’t ignorant of the world around us and I’m sure many of us want to be part of the solution, not the problem. 

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