[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 1: Is green gaming an oxymoron?

Jeff Watson remotedevice at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 17:09:08 AEDT 2020

Electronic entertainment firms sink or swim based on the degree to
which they can capture and hold the limited resources of player
attention and performance. The more players that can be "captured,"
and the longer they can be retained, the more profit--and (and this is
the crux of it) the more need there is for computing machinery and all
its attendant demands for electricity, labor, resource extraction,
refining, assembly, and logistics. Particularly at the highest levels
of the industries, electronic entertainment is essentially a
relentless arms race where platform and AAA firms compete to capture
and operationalize megascale player populations. Epic Games' Fortnite
alone has upwards of 40 million active daily players—a product of
their own relentless "A/B testing" of game features and mechanics with
an eye toward ever increasing "time in chair." Other kinds of
electronic entertainment that work like videogames, even if we don't
typically think of them as such, entail similarly vast numbers. Tinder
organizes a million dates a week. In the first quarter of 2019, gaming
fans around the world watched 2.7 billion hours—308,219 human years—of
Twitch content; 302.4 million of those hours—or 34,521 human
years—were accounted for by League of Legends streamers alone.


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