Digital Games Are Bad For The Enviroment?


Digital Games are the future, right? No need for storage on the shelf, and if you’re the type who is concerned about the environment, surely it’s better than using up gas driving down to your local Gamestop and picking up that wasteful plastic and disc.

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Well, not so fast. According to a study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the carbon footprint left behind by downloading a big game (the example for the study was 8.8 gb, but of course some games are much bigger than that) is actually worse than the ones made by a retail disc. And yes, that includes things like production and retail delivery.

The factors that make the digital download worse than simply going to your local retail brick and mortar store are things such as electricity used be the downloader and the power used by data centers to deliver the content. The study does point to internet downloads being likely to increase in efficiency, though whether that will be able to keep up with the ever growing size of file downloads is anybody’s guess. It’s important to note that the amount of impact by either method on the environment is fairly minimal, but if you are really trying to be a greener gamer, it’s something you might want to at least think about.


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