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

Jeff Watson remotedevice at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 17:09:58 AEDT 2020

All of this computer-mediated playtime is not without its costs.
Individual data centers in the early 2020s, for example, can consume
over a million gallons of chilled water a day just to keep their
servers cool. “Cloud gaming,” crucial to the next wave of
mega-population gaming strategies, has been shown to increase the
total electricity used to play an individual videogame by up to 260
percent. Surveillance capitalism isn't just bad for civil society:
it's also poison to labor and the environment. E-waste workers live in
notoriously squalid conditions and live shortened lives. Tin for
iPhones comes from a mine so dangerous locals call it "the mountain
that eats men" (see Merchant, Brian. “Everything That’s Inside Your
IPhone.” Motherboard (blog), August 15, 2017.
According to a 2019 report commissioned by the Governor of California,
videogames burn the equivalent of 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year in
California alone (see Mills, Evan, Norman Bourassa, Leo Rainer, Jimmy
Mai, Ian Vaino, Claire Curtin, Arman Shehabi, Louis-Benoit Desroches,
and Nathaniel Mills. “A Plug-Loads Game Changer: Computer Gaming
Energy Efficiency without Performance Compromise.” California Energy
Commission, 2019). The same report notes that a powerful gaming
computer uses as much wattage as a full sized refrigerator. The report
concludes that the biggest impact on energy usage in videogames is
behavior--which is precisely what such systems organize and leverage
for profit.


More information about the empyre mailing list