Online gaming has a real-life environmental impact, whether through a computer's energy usage or the power-hungry server farms owned by game companies. But a media expert at the University of Stanford has suggested harnessing the allure of online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft for the greener good.
Byron Reeves sketched a scenario where a player might get in-game feedback from a smart meter which records energy usage in the house. Turn off the lights, and the game takes note and rewards you accordingly.
"If I'm using less electricity, my team might do well; I get goal pieces and points, whatever the game designers think is fun," Reeves told Living on Earth. "In other words, you get feedback in an entertainment game about what you're doing in the real world."
Granted, games such as the Wii Fit already encourage people to make real-life changes to their bodies. But it's one matter to design a game around a real-world goal such as physical fitness, and another to latch energy conservation onto an entertainment juggernaut such as World of Warcraft.
It could work. People already invest massive amounts of time and money into earning virtual rewards, even if it's just an in-game title to wear.
Case in point: I'm far behind other World of Warcraft players, thanks to meeting RL (real life) writing deadlines. Still, I took recently precious time from my work in order to run around slaying 15 virtual turkeys in three minutes, and all for an in-game achievement named "Friend or Fowl?".
So, bring on the eco-friendly multiplayer games of the future. I personally look forward to having new achievements that reward real-life gaming – er, greening – and don't earn me kill-on-sight status among D.E.H.T.A. (Warcraft's tongue-in-cheek take on P.E.T.A. ).
Perhaps an xbox live bonus that determines how much power you consume or how long you've had your xbox turned "off"? Much like the "rest" bonus you gain in WoW for being logged off.
No thanks! Please keep your philosophy out of my gaming. I have enough concerns with class imbalance without having to worry about some jackass getting brownie points because he agrees to turn off his lights to make you feel better about yourself.
Sorry, but this is a terrible idea. I'd like to think Stanford University would have more important things to examine than finding more ways to invade people's lives with their dogma.
lmfao. This is coming out of Stanford? How can I get that gig?!
This reminds me of the game I saw for the DS. "Eco Creatures: Save the Forest".
Uh, just how many trees were cut down to make the box and manual for it?
Seems like if you were really interested in saving forests, you wouldn't be buying video games to begin with.
Just like in this example, people interested in saving electricity, wouldn't really be playing a computer game to begin with. Gaming PCs (which admittedly are probably overkill for Warcraft) suck up a lot of juice.
A real "green" solution would be off-line, tabletop role-playing (ie, Dungeons & Dragons, etc)
This is just barely even retarded. Don't the players kill each other now and then - or is it a "Green" and eco-friendly War where corpses decay happily into the now-fertile landscape? I'm not surprised it comes out of Stanford - how about that Tree mascot? Can it play too?
I just started playing WoW 2 months ago and I've been waiting to see if something like this was going to come along. I kinda expected it would be a group like PETA wanting WoW to reward people for not killing animals for their fur, meat and leather. Thousands and thousands of animals die in WoW every day. I have no idea how many animals I've slaughtered so I could skin to use with leatherworking...
I wonder if I saved electricity by not even playing WoW would that qualify for a reward??
If your single, living alone and even though this idea sounds stupid to me, it would be plausible. But if it's implemented then I'd like to see people who actually live with families explain to them why they have to sit in the dark while your playing WoW cause you want that trinket...
"Kids, get your candles out, Daddy's gonna play WoW."
You can't deny what is. People will not stop using more and more energy, so get use to it and find a real solution.
Here, I'll even set you on the right path... Figure out how to replace coal/gas/etc power plants without covering the US with giant wind turbines, dams, and solar power plants.
Actually WoW already has some environmental related content, as I suspect the writer of this column knows since the screenshot is from the zone its in. There's a PETA spoof group called DEHTA, or Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals. They give out quite a few quests in the Borean Tundra. However, they're shown as a bit on the extreme side. If you've killed any animals before talking to them, they will kill you... clearly like certain real world enviro extremists, they value animal life a lot more highly than human life. But the quests are kind of fun, you can rescue baby animals, murder evil hunters, you know, typical PETA stuff.
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