UN’s Playing for the Planet report says many gamers show environmental awareness
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The United Nations said its that a survey of 390,000 gamers found that 70% of them are open to changing their environmental behaviors.
The Playing for the Planet Alliance 2022 Annual Impact Report said that players want studios to do more with activations in games when it comes to environmental awareness. The players were surveyed in nine of the games in the Green Game Jam. Of course, players who are playing such games likely already have a bias toward being green, and in that sense, the report may not be representative of all gamers.
Facilitated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Playing for the Planet Alliance was launched in 2019 and includes major studios including Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, Supercell, Ubisoft and Unity. Six more studios joined the initiative in 2022, including the Pan African Gaming Group, Humble Bundle, Gameloft, Gamigo, Ohbibi and Sumo Group.
The report said 64% of members have raised their decarbonization ambition to achieve net-zero carbon or carbon neutrality, with more than half of alliance members now adopting science-based methods for carbon accounting and reporting.
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The survey of 390,000 gamers found 70% of respondents saying they would be open to changing their environmental behaviors That percentage rose to 81% after playing green activations as part of the Green Game Jam.
Studios are also making progress on a new plastic packaging protocol and guidance on running more sustainable events. The Green Game Jam saw some 2.5 million trees planted with the first-ever climate march taking place in the Riders Republic game.
The ambition for 2023 is to provide new guidance for the industry so that it can align with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and then create new tools built for the sector to reduce its carbon emissions with the 2023 edition of the Green Game Jam taking on the theme of restoring three critical species’ ecosystems.
“While there is still a long way to go, 2022 was a breakthrough year for Playing for the Planet, with more studios signing up to science-based targets and the player survey showing a real demand for such content in games,” said Sam Barratt, chief of youth and advocacy for the UN Environment Programme, in a statement.
The alliance was founded to encourage the video game industry to reduce their emissions and to help inspire gamers to develop sustainability awareness and commit to climate action.
The report is a UNEP publication that aggregates progress made by alliance members, summarizes new annual commitments and serves as an accountability mechanism with those unable to fulfill their pledges seeing their membership put on hold.
Barratt said the UN is making progress on disentangling the difference between hardware and software emissions with some work kicked off in 2022 and should come to a conclusion in 2023.
Last year green activation-based games reached some 636 million gamers and 2.5 million trees were planted. In 2023, UNEP is focussing on the theme of wildlife (as tree planting is a bit too easy) to see how that goes, and 28 studios are working on that now to go live in the coming weeks.
At Ubisoft alone, 19 game studios engaged in putting green activations in games last year.
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