It may sound crazy, but playing video games doesn’t do our planet any good. According to a study, playing games like el WoW or LoL pollutes with almost 1 ton of CO2 per year per user. We are talking about a huge amount of greenhouse gases.
The study highlights above all that the vast majority of these emissions come from the high internet traffic and the load on the CPU in the background. Applications like Battle.net or Steam put a load on the background processor that does not do any effective work. A fact that is quite interesting and that invites you to completely close these applications
Playing World of Warcraft or League of Legends is bad for the planet
Before we get alarmed, let’s put the data on the table and explain it a bit. According to the study, games they emit about 17.5 kilos of CO2 per week, which is about 910 kilos of CO2 per year. Although the figure may be alarming, if we compare it with the 15 kilos of CO2, on average, emitted by a vehicle that consumes 6 liters of gasoline every 100 kilometres, it is not that much anymore. More or less, playing video games a year emits the same as a vehicle in a month that travels 50 kilometers every day.
We must bear in mind that a large part of this consumption comes from the transmission of data over the Internet. It is estimated that transmit about 200 GB of data a week in moderate use. According to an MIT study, every 1 GB of data is equivalent to between 28 grams and 63 grams of CO2.
It is also highlighted in the study that part of these emissions comes from applications that run in the background. Software like Battle.net or Steam are running in the background. They have estimated that between 37% and 45% of the processor load comes from these background applications.
Reducing our impact is quite simple, just close all these applications that are running in the background. This will also affect the electricity bill, which could go down a bit by eliminating applications that consume resources and do nothing.
But, it is better to play than to use WhatsApp or Spotify
The same study gives other interesting data that is worth mentioning. Communication applications like WhatsApp and WeChat they can generate 326 kilos of CO2 in a week. But it is that applications like Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Music they can generate 350 kilos of CO2 a week.
According to the study, communication or content streaming applications are much more polluting. The reason is the amount of data they transmit over the network. The WeChat app takes the cake with more than 2,300 GB of data transmitted in a week, which is bullshit.
As we can see, the applications in the background that consume the most are content streaming and communication. Those of video games also consume, but much less. A simple solution is to close these applications when they are not going to be used. We can also plant a dozen trees, which are more or less necessary to absorb that ton of CO2 that is emitted when we play.