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Why Gaming is Green

I hear a lot about how geeks adversely impact the mexico cialis no prescription environment. With our power-sucking computers, toxic game consoles, and general disinterest in the outdoors. But I'm here, today, to tell you that that's bunk. Geeks are greener than the average American, and it's time to point out why.

So we're starting a new series entitled "Why Geeks are Greener." And this is our first installment.

Video games, if you pay attention to the traditional green establishment, are the anti-christ. Not only do they gobble up power, they keep our kids from being at one with nature. And if kids can't be at one with nature, why will the protect it!?


Well folks, I'm here today to tell you that gaming is good for the environment. Whether you are right now experiencing shock, cynicism or relief, you'll want to read the link for you generic viagra online following list of why games are green.

  1. Children don't need boyscouts to care about global warming. I will fully admit to have been affected greatly in my experiences in the outdoors. But saying that caring about the environment is dependent on experiencing nature is like saying that caring about sex is dependent upon talking to girls. Just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean you don't want to do all you can to protect your chances at having a healthy future with it. Protecting nature isn't about loving nature anymore, it's about liking the idea of life continuing on the planet.

  2. Gaming isn't that power intensive. Depending on what kind of system you have, your console might draw as much power as a CFL, or an incandescent lightbulb. Yes, the Wii is far more efficient than the XBox 360, but even the 360 only pulls a maximum of 150 watts. It's just not that much power, especially because neither pull much power at all when they're off. And the act of viagra and three day delivery gaming itself, it turns out, is quite good for the environment.
  3. Gaming keeps you out of the environment, and thus protects it. If every gamer decided to be a skier, air travel rates would skyrocket, new ski mountains would be developed, and millions more people would all fly or drive thousands of miles per summer to get to their favorite destination. Instead, their favorite destination is the canadian viagra cheap living room.

    From there, we gamers get to have intense experiences and hang out with our friends who might live half the world away with only a tiny impact on the environment. It's a non-physical realm that allows for pseudo-physical experiences. And while traditional greens call that a replacement of the real world, I call it a protection of the real world.
  4. Games are economic drivers with very little physical presence. I'd guess that your average copy of Halo 3 contains about $2 of raw materials. But when it hit stores it was worth $60. Where does all that money go? Well, into the pockets of the thousands of people who worked to create it. Actors, programmers, modelers, QA testers, musicians, artists, and BFG designers.

    So you get to employ thousands of people to produce a product that has a tiny environmental impact. And as the internet gets faster, the physical media is being eliminated from the process entirely.
  5. Computer gaming requires nothing physical at all. At various times throughout the day, my computer goes through a transition from workstation to gaming console. The result is that I don't need a gaming console at all, and I get to play games that I have never owned physical copies of. Aside from the 100 watts of buy online viagra overnight in canada power it pulls from the wall (far less carbon intensive than, say, a drive down to the nearest soccer pitch) I can play Fifa 08 with my wife.

    I'm not getting any fitter, that's for certain, but the cost to the environment is virtually nonexistent.

There are, of course, ungreen things about gaming too. If you do it on a 42 inch plasma-screen HDTV, for example, you're going overboard. And running out to buy the only best offers cheapest viagra new console as soon as it comes out isn't a very green policy, especially since Super Mario Bros. remains as fun today as it was in 1987. And the NES, I'll add, is a very green machine.

But be secure in knowing that your ultra-green friends who drive into the wilderness to have their experiences have no right to scoff at the ways in which you have your experiences.

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Comments (31)Add Comment
written by Ken Roberts, October 27, 2008
Good analysis. Environmental advocates too often get tunnel vision. They may focus on the 150 watts of an Xbox, or the 500 Watts of a computer, forgetting that the alternatives are often much more harmful.
oh, the logic.
written by czf, October 27, 2008
as a professor of argument and rhetoric, i appreciate the case you've drawn up. however, i do believe you commit a few logical fallacies in your noble effort to defend the gaming geek (of which i qualify). My class starts in 4 minutes so i don't have time to complete a full analysis, other than to point that, in many cases, your points are accurate from both sides of the argument, thus weakening them. One doesn't need to experience nature to appreciate it. Ok. But it is as valid an argument to state that experiencing nature makes one value it all the more. again, keeping folks out of the environment protects it, but staying out of nature also makes nature an abstraction, which many fewer people will be able to, or interested in, defending. love the work, but in my course it's only a B argument.
written by Professor Rechtschreibung, October 27, 2008
czf: As a professor of English grammar, I believe your comment has several elementary flaws. My class started 10 minutes ago, and my students are wondering why I'm sitting here typing, so I'll have to keep this brief, but most notably, your capitalization suffers.

Love the work, but in my course, it's only a B comment.
Not sure
written by Karsten, October 27, 2008
I like the basic gist of the arguments. Too many environmentalists feel it is necessary to spend free time, resources, and energy on being in the environment and are damaging it as a result.

Nevertheless, to do something well, you need to understand it. Not being "in" the environment or appreciating life means very little if you cannot control your impact. To control your impact you have to understand how it works. You need data, numbers, evidence, information, etc. What if the gamer in question takes 40 minute long hot-showers and expects to eat a large piece of meat daily? What if the gamer uses AC because he/she has not understood about keeping the sun out of the house? What if the heat is turned on so high that it is comfortable with T-shirt rather than dressing warmer?

This obviously has nothing to do with gaming. It has to do with people meaning well but not knowing the impact of their actions. I worry that spending too much time with an activity that is as non-educational as a video game (at least I have not seen one that is popular AND scientifically correct and relevant to environmental issues) will not find enough time to get the education and information necessary to reduce one's impact. This is of course an issue with any activity that keeps you from getting informed.

By the logic above, watching TV or surfing the levitra without perscription internet are just as good. Listening to the radio or reading would be an improvement. Staying at home and dosage for tramadol for dogs doing very little is better than what many environmentalists do in their quest to enjoy the environment, however you can do a lot of damage from home. Ignorance can be quite damaging to the environment and lack of time limits your ability to get informed.

How about a video game that is fun to play and sets you back if you act in ways that damage the environment? Video games could be so educational. I am talking about the underlying structure and idea - it does not have to be primarily educational at all. But it is disappointing to see how much time is wasted practicing skills or acquiring knowledge that have absolutely no meaning to the vast majority of people ever. I still believe that "play" is to practice skills you need as an adult.

Practical Advice to Pollute Less

written by czf, October 27, 2008
touche professor. for some reason, i have never capitilized when writing on the internets. it's a problem.
where the money goes
written by hi, October 27, 2008
When you buy a game, the money does NOT all go in the pockets of developers.
It also goes to distributors, retailers, manufacturers, marketing, investors...
Oh I didn't realize
written by Hank, October 27, 2008
Game developers don't get paid for games eh? Funny how they keep making money at it somehow. But, yes, marketing, and retailers get a chunk of the change. Those are still relatively low-carbon economic inputs though. And so I stand by my argument more than 90% of the cost of a game is not paying for raw materials or fuel, it's paying for people, which is a much more sustainable business model than most products.
written by MarkR, October 27, 2008
Look if you, or any other geek wants to spend their life in a room cell looking at a computer monitor instead of living life so be it.

Just means more room for me in the great out doors. 8)

A Great Start
written by Matt Anderson, October 27, 2008
@Karsten: There actually is at least one computer game with the focus you speak of. I don't recall the name of cheap viagra from india it, but I believe it is marketed at a youth crowd (under 15).

@Hank: A great article Hank. I thought the arguments were nicely presented throughout, helping to show some of the "Eco Tunnel Vision" that we can all sometimes fall into. Sure, you probably could have put more in there if you wanted to, but as the first article in what you say will be a series, I think it's a darn good start.
A quick thought
written by James Shepherd, October 27, 2008
I think more then 90% is a bit excessive. Their is also the fuel cost of the time it takes the development team to make the game at their computers the fuel costs of running the business etc etc but i think im just being very picky here. The part that made the most sense to me was the part about no travelling to the alps or football fields and still being social through the the best place official canadian pharmacy online gaming aspect.
written by Clintonio, October 27, 2008
Sorry, but that argument that video games hinder education is a terribly false notion. There are studies to show that video gamings even improve peoples cognitive abilities, thus allowing them to learn better and better understand the impact of their action.
I used to be a heavy video gamer, and even when on my pointlessly powerful PC I would try to minimise my blueprint as much as possible. And yes, I did do research, because my video gaming PC made it convinient to do so.

Don't preach the environment to people. I love the environment and nature, but not everyone appreciates it as much as others, and in their cases it's best to aim at their wallet rather than using sentimentality or any form of logic.

@Article: Interesting article. Though I have very little to say, except that people really should avoid getting PSU (Power Supply Units) that far exceed their needs.
written by EV, October 27, 2008
Sorry, but that argument that video games hinder education is a terribly false notion.

Oh, the number of games I played as a kid that taught math, memory, spelling, Geography and History. Math Blaster, Number Crunchers, Super Solvers, Operation Neptune, Carmen Sandiego. Still more, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
written by Meredith, October 28, 2008
Personally I'm very excited for this new string of cheap viagra no prescription overnight "Geeks are Green", b/c my brother and I are the most geeky children in the family, and I do believe he and pfizer levitra 50mg I are the only gamers. We also happen to be the only two out of seven people in my family who are environmentally conscious. I'm sure my brother has already read this article, but if not he'll get a kick out of it. Thanks, Hank, for defending the honor of the green geeks.
written by Julian (ItTakesII), October 28, 2008
Great article, Hank! Though don't play many video games anyway.
written by MarkR, October 28, 2008
Oh yeah one last point from me. who would I take advice from regarding the environment, a person who plays video games during their down time in life or someone who will actually be a part of the environment?

I'll listen any day what Teddy Roosevelt or Sara Palen has to say, over a "gamer" who's only knowledge about the environment is through a book, a class or even a game.
written by Bernard, October 28, 2008
Even if a power supply is rated at 1000 watts, that doesn't mean it will always be drawing that much current, it will only draw as much as needed. A higher rating just means more headroom for when you need it. Efficiency is the stat that is important here, which tells you how much energy the power supply will waste as heat. Older, lower efficiency power supplies can waste on average 40% of the power they draw from the mains, meaning they have to draw that much more to provide the same amount of power to the computer. Newer models that have been made since the "green" trend started are 80-90% efficient, and they also tend to have higher wattage ratings, so in most cases it is better to get that 1000 watt supply, from an ecological standpoint.
Education value of electronic games
written by Karsten, October 28, 2008
I agree that there are some electronic games that increase valuable knowledge. However, I have the strong feeling that they are not popular at all, especially amongst teens. The research I have read shows still strong connections between aggressive behavior and violent video games. The research I have read shows benefits only if the games are not played excessively. Now, I am not a gamer. So I could be wrong. I don't know what is considered "moderate" use of video games. And you could say the same about TV. There are many good shows. Nothing wrong with the medium itself. The question is, how much of the good stuff is consumed in comparison to the bad stuff? It is a matter of mail order viagra china application, not a matter of existence of the tool.

Just because you (the reader of this blog) have not suffered from spending countless hours glued to a screen and practiced movements and thought processes that may have benefited you does not mean it does that for most. Most likely your parents have taken good care of you and carefully chosen which games and TV shows you have access to. Additionally, they probably have exposed you to many, many other stimuli. The kids I am worried about are the ones who turn into adults who spend 0 (zero) time reading or contributing to blogs like this one. Their parents do not control what happens in their children's lives that much. These kids waste away the time they need to get an education that will have meaning in their life. They turn into voters and jury members in much higher numbers than the kids who turn into adults who contribute to websites like this one (who also vote and generic cialis and online consultation become jury members). To me that is quite worrisome.

I have heard that strategic thinking and thumb-eye coordination can be improved with video games. I just don't see how this helps a whole lot of people gain the edge in a competitive world if you neglect other aspects of education. Great if you can make fast decisions and operate a computer, but I still question the notion that "fast" alone is enough. I am speaking about excessive video game play. The kind that may actually result in less eco-impact since you do it so much. Spending 10-20 hours per week doing something that does not add to your knowledge base but instead practice skills that can be practiced with much less time is a waste of time and is dangerous (I know this is going far) to our society. We cannot afford to let our kids play this much with something that does not add significantly to their education. We (and our kids) have more important things to do. If you don't think so though - carry on.

Certain carefully and responsibly selected computer games once in a while - great. Computer at home - super. Unsupervised and unchecked kids spending countless hours doing anything this pointless and repetitive - not good.

Practical Advice to Pollute Less
written by czf, October 28, 2008
please don't listen to or base your eco-ethic off of teddy roosevelt. i know he established the national parks, etc. but if the environmental movement had the TR mindset all along, we'd be in serious trouble.
written by Ross, October 28, 2008
Rather than retype the lengthy post I attempted to add to the discussion yesterday (regarding the impact of electronic waste on the environment, and the relationship of the annual release of new gaming consoles (and other technology), which results in further proliferation of e-waste), I will simply point everyone to link on the subject posted today over at treehugger:

(I truly hope my comment was not snuffed based on the content; electronic waste is a serious problem (see
written by mrsleep, October 28, 2008
Terrible article.
Most of the money goes into the pockets of the game company owner, and investors. The devs, voice actors, etc, get paid hourly.

Point #5, the worst of them all.
Sure, maybe you reduce your carbon footprint.
For a while. Of course, when you are morbidly obese, cant work, and have to buy a scooter to get from the living room to the fridge. Well, I'm willing to bet that will be an even bigger carbon footprint.
Not to mention all the food you will eat that could have gone to someone who needed it more.

Try googling china e-waste. You'll see how environmentally friendly geeks are.
Stop deluding yourself.
Geeks and Games, a logical combination
written by Renee, October 28, 2008
I don't profess to be particularly green, and I'm not an expert on video games and education, but according to Steven Johnson, in his book, Everything Bad is Good for You the act of playing today's complex video games, regardless of content, increases critical thinking skills. Gamers must figure out how to solve problems and keep multiple goals and consequences in mind.
Now they may be killing orcs or stealing cars in the game world, but the collateral learning that occurs will allow those gamers to solve our world's complex problems in the future. Games aren't about content, they're about process (think math, not reading).
Your argument about spending all day playing games, while true, applies to EVERYTHING in life. even fiber and vitamin D can be harmful in excess. And bad parenting was a problem long before video games. Taking away TV and computers will not make people better educated. It will not make them more likely to read ecogeek or buy cfls or go hiking. They'd probably just read trash novels, go drag racing or eat junk food.
And of course, Hank's post wasn't really about people who are addicted to gaming. He was talking about people who game but want to be green.
I'm a librarian, but when I have children, I will encourage them to play video games, along with reading books, playing outdoors, reading blogs and caring for the environment.
written by Brent, October 28, 2008
You are right that a PSU will only draw as much power as it needs and that efficiency is the important thing to look at, but how many watts it is rated at still makes a difference. This is because a PSU is more efficient when the amount of power its using is closer to its limit. Look at to get some charts that show this. So you really do want to try to get your PSU to match up to your computer's needs, but leave some room because the follow link generic levitra pill PSU isn't going to be able to draw as much power as it ages.
Skiing versus gaming?
written by Kris, October 28, 2008
I love gaming, but pretending that it is good for the environment is just nonsense.

Take point 3: you compare a gamer with a skier and in that particular case you might be right. But what if you compare the gamer with someone who goes walking, running, biking, swimming, reading books, playing guitar, hanging out in bars, chasing girls,...

I don't know about you, but there is more to life than just skiing and viagra aus usa gaming
More to life?!
written by Uxi, October 29, 2008
Kris, who are you to say what is "enjoyable in life?"

Hank wasn´t trying to underline the point that gaming is good for the enviroment, he was pointing out that it isn´t BAD for it.

I do however, have problems with points 3 and 4, which are not good.

We keep the environment intact by staying at home? Hardly. I love nature, and go on walks and hikes and I camp, and I never destroy or harm my environment (especially not intentionally.)

And when the game/gaming device hits the stores at a $60 price it is because we are paying the company owner that money, instead of the WORKERS who deserve more than the minimum wage.

But that´s another matter....

I like the gist of the article though. It´s very Hank :D
written by James, October 29, 2008
Why no discussions about the what it takes to make the games?
Smoke Crack, Worship Satan
written by Jim, October 29, 2008
Terrible article. Pseudo-argument using no statistics whatsoever. You have to be kidding me.
written by Ben Hamilton, October 29, 2008
Your argument that keeping people out of the environment "protects it" is completely false and can be countered by any member of the national, or state park member. Dedicated conservationists have worked long and hard to "lock open" natural areas for us to visit and enjoy. Interaction allows for personal investment and understanding. I am part of the generation that was raised on video games and it is absurd to think that being an environmentalist is just about reducing ones self to a worthless existing creature with minimal impact. The message you should be preaching is that taking an active role in your life and only now generic viagra for sale being conscious of your use of the planet is what helps us save it. We have extreme potential to innovate and explore new opportunities but if we are spending all of our time being minimalists we will not only life a worthless and sad life but will continue to use resources and fall into the whole we are already in. Why write an article about how something as inactive and socially detrimental as gaming all the time is OK. Spent your time writing about things that people are doing to improve and work to inspire change, not appease.
written by noko, October 30, 2008
i may be drunk on alcohol i brewed entirely myself but this was the absolute most offensive articl3 i have ever seen on ecogeek. unlees a beetter and significantly more coherant article appearcs i will no longer visit this sit. i know this is nutjob repub progpganda but honestly when i wake up tomorrow and cialis mexico come here im going to want to sh}t dpwm someones throat then cum on their face.

Protecting Nature by Staying Inside
written by John Giezentanner, October 30, 2008
Hank, I’m a gamer too and I agree that they can create real, meaningful experiences – many of them social – without much physical apparatus or travel, and in that sense maybe they are kind of green (Yey!). But I disagree with points 1 and 3, not just as they pertain to video games, but with the general idea of protecting the environment by taking people out of it.

On one hand, the couch potato relies on ecosystem services as much as the outdoors person for their air, water and potato chips. No one is really separate from nature. But how do you explain that to someone who thinks that food comes from the store and electricity comes from the wall?

I think that people need to occasionally spend time outdoors (preferable starting in childhood) in order to understand and appreciate nature, and if people enjoy nature through recreation, then that’s one more reason for them to want to protect it. Conversely, it’s much harder to care about something that you don’t have a personal connection to.

On the other hand, I appreciate ANWR and want it to be protected even though I’ve never been there and haven’t experienced it. I take comfort in just knowing it’s there. But maybe that appreciation stems from the fact that I first learned to love places close to home by going out and being in them.

Why should we hope that people will be able to make a purely intellectual decision to preserve far off “nature” when the drive to protect something you have a personal, emotional connection to is so reliable?
Gamers vs. travellers and levitra online india outdoors enthu
written by markoff chaney, October 31, 2008
Rationalizer pot, meet rationalizer kettle.

This is a false dichotomy that you've created. A testament to how hard you must have tried to talk yourself into this, yet an un-necessary distraction by way of self-deception. Let me break it down for you.

Conservation, properly managed, includes having human interaction at natural sites - this is good for humans, and if managed properly, good for the sites by supporting conservation causes - people express that they value a given place (which affects political decisions and the ability for developers to convert land to more profit-driven uses, like factories, condoplexes, and strip malls) as well as contribute to it financially, supporting the missions of the conservationists. Having "environmental tourism" doesn't mean you have to turn the rainforest into Disneyland, or sell shitloads of disposable tchotchke, or rent ATVs to tear across the countryside.

On the travellers side, ecotourism and outdoor recreation, likewise, can be done responsibly if you think through some basics ahead of time. Travel with a friend or small group and gang up on accomodations, don't stay in big resorts, don't buy crappy tourist trinkets or stuff made from possibly over-harvested natural resources (endangered wood, animal parts, shells, etc), patronize local and small businesses (infusing the economies of these areas with money for their communities), and share your experience with others by stories or photos - inspiring others to in turn give a damn about the planet - its wild and scenic and visit-worthy natural places.

On the gaming side, the boatloads of physical media created by games, packaging, and promotional materials - most of which is destined for landfill - and the energy consumed by games - which still at this point comes from dammed rivers, burning coal, and other problematic sources - removes your moral superiority and puts you on a par with someone who uses gas to get to the national park. Rather than take up the challenges that both gamers and online propecia prescription environmentalists and outdoors enthusiasts share - energy, waste, resource management - you get in a pissing match over who's "greener", and then proceed to rationalize your case away from your own point of view.

If nature is an abstraction, a picture of a pretty place in a multimedia storage system, who will care enough to pass legislation or establish organizations to protect it, or to make better choices in their day-to-day lives, or to talk about the issues to others? Never mind the trees, what else is on TV? Slippery slope to say the least.

Rather than get in a smug-out to see who can feel the most morally or ecologically superior, make the positive choices that are important to you, and look to the real issues instead of picking off bystanders.

-from a 36 year old gamer and environmentalist who enjoys travel to beautiful places and doesn't feel conflicted about any of it.
Thank you
written by Nakita White, November 21, 2008
Hi EcoGeek,

My name is Nakita and I am 13 years old. I am currently creating my speech for a debate saying that the Playstation has not destroyed the generic viagra discount cheap playground and that they are actually good. By using your information, I hope we win.

Nakita White ;D

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