Should games stop featuring incredibly realistic graphics to lower carbon emissions?

Polls

20th April 2022

YOU might not think of videogames as having much of a carbon footprint, but there are actually quite a lot of carbon emissions linked to playing games.

From plastic packaging to the power used to run a PC, console or mobile device, both manufacturing and playing videogames require energy, and that energy sometimes comes from fossil fuels.

The better-looking the game, the more powerful the technology needs to be to run it properly. And that means more energy is needed.

A big, beefy gaming PC playing the latest and best-looking game will use around 1kW of power to run. That’s about the same amount as a kettle, says Guardian technology editor Alex Hern. “By contrast,” he wrote, “A Nintendo Switch draws just 10W, about the same as a dim light bulb, while playing a game like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” That’s 100 times less energy!

With millions of people playing the newest, best-looking games, carbon emissions can quickly add up.

If developers create less realistic, less graphically intense games, then computers and gaming consoles won’t need to use as much energy to run them.

As technology develops, we could begin to see better-looking graphics that use less energy. Until then, the emissions from gaming are something that we need to think about.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Should games stop featuring incredibly realistic graphics to lower carbon emissions?

7 Comments

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ivansp2011 · 4 weeks ago

Climate change is more important than video games so yes.

coolcats · 4 weeks ago

NO as I believe it isn't right to put a video game before our environment. Plus, the Nintendo Switch, for example, is just as good as a PC.

emi1234567 · 4 weeks ago

The environment should come before people playing some game that looks hyper realistic.

marthajja · 3 weeks ago

Our planet is more important than gaming.

sunnysmilz · 3 weeks ago

You will only play a certain game for a bit and then you will start playing another, but we can’t just get another planet.

superdork · 3 weeks ago

Our planet has been here for ages, and seen dinosaurs and watched humans evolve. We can’t stop caring about it now just to get better graphics. Although gaming is a fun hobby that many enjoy, we have to put our planet first! We only have one earth after all.

max1234 · 2 weeks ago

All a video game is- pressing things and graphics to make it look interesting, so there is no point to play them. I care more about the environment.