Retailing behemoth Wal-mart is asking videogame companies to start thinking about how they can make games more environmentally friendly.
A recent "green gaming summit," including companies like Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts and Activision, centered around "packaging, power consumption and education" in the videogame industry, with an eye to reducing the environmental impact of videogames at various levels. Joe Muha, the games buyer for Wal-mart subsidiary Sam's Club, said the company urged developers to begin "developing software and hardware that allows us to save the game so we do not have to leave it on [and] would allow us to turn it off during a meal break or overnight without losing our place."
"Additionally, some clever programming would allow the console to go into a lower power, standby mode when not in use," he added. Changes in "coding and power usage design" to reduce the power consumption of consoles during media playback were also encouraged, while switching product packaging from plastic boxes to cardboard "would be like taking almost 4000 cars of the road in terms of equivalent greenhouse gas emissions," the company said.
But such initiatives would be focused primarily on future generations of consoles, rather than current hardware. "Focusing on the next generation of consoles would allow the machines to be built from the ground up to use less power while providing an even better experience," Muha said.
"There is no reason that we cannot make such a difference," he continued. "We believe that games are an important and worthwhile part of our lives. They can enrich our experiences, allow us to relax and explore while challenging our skills mentally and in some cases physically. The goals of sustainability and the gaming experience are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they should more forward on the same track."