In the midst of a fierce discussion on climate change in the United Nations, the video game industry has pledged action to the UN, vowing to use their influence to combat climate change. Announced in a press release on the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) website earlier today, more than twenty companies have agreed to voluntary commitments as part of the Playing for the Planet Alliance. Some of the biggest names in video games are represented, including Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Google Stadia, and Ubisoft. Each will bring new ideas to the table on how their company can use their resources and player bases to slow the effects of climate change.
As far as reaching the eyes and ears of billions of players (“2.6 billion people globally” according to the press release), there are few industries other than video games that can claim that kind of influence. “The video games industry has the ability to engage, inspire and captivate the imaginations of billions of people across the world. This makes them a hugely important partner in addressing the climate emergency,” says UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen. Each platform company and development studio has a unique role to play in the gaming industry’s fight against climate change.
According to the press release, companies such as Microsoft and Sony Interactive Entertainment have vowed to take steps to drastically reduce their CO2 emissions, and Sony has already implemented plans for the upcoming PS5 to draw less power than its predecessor. Google Stadia will create a “Sustainable Game Development Guide as well as funding research into how ‘green nudges’ can be effectively incorporated into game play,” while mobile game companies such as Supercell and Rovio plan to offset their player base’s carbon footprint. Twitch and Niantic Inc. have also thrown their hat in the ring, pledging to use their platforms to engage their respective communities regarding environmental sustainability.
With so much debate on the climate change issue making its way into news cycles and social media feeds, its nice to get away from the constant back and forth with some actual commitment to the cause from the gaming industry. You can check out a full list of all the gaming companies and their commitments here.