Online Gaming and Environmental Awareness
With a player base of over 3 billion, the video game industry is a unique platform to promote environmental change. From the energy consumption of consoles to the carbon emissions of gaming hardware and software, gamers contribute to a large number of environmental impacts. However, the emergence of games that address environmental issues could trigger an eco-revolution.
The Playing for the Planet เข้าร่วม SA Gaming VIP Alliance, facilitated by UNEP, recognises this potential and aims to encourage pro-environmental behaviours among players through green activations in games. These games have the potential to inspire behavioural change by showing that the consequences of negative environmental actions are immediate and visible in-game, and that behavioural changes are possible through sustainable action.
Beyond Controllers: How Inclusivity Is Reshaping the Landscape of Online Gaming
While the ecological footprint of gaming is still a concern, many players are already acting to reduce their impact. When Niantic, the company behind the popular game Pokemon Go, called on players to clean up trash on Earth Day in 2019, more than 17,000 people from 41 countries took part. In China, the payment app Alipay offers a mini-game where users plant virtual trees, and for every one planted in the game, the company plants a real tree in the wild.
In this article, three video games with environmental themes are examined through content analysis – an academic research method that examines the narrative and mechanics of a video game to determine its influence on its user. The games analysed include Plasticity, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure and The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle.