Wednesday, January 23

Eco Gaming: Game On, Responsibly

It's no surprise that I'm a gamer. I love video games, play them, and have worked in the video game industry. Games are a big part of my life. Hell, I'm even cosplaying one of my favorite game characters, but over the years I've changed a lot and have become more responsible about the way I play. We live in a beautiful world that encourages reusing, sharing, and buying digital instead of owning a hard copy of a price of media. We're learning to value eProducts just as much as something tactile and physical. Believe me I've had hardware, movies, and games die on me over the years just because they're old, despite the fact that I treat all of my belongings like collector's items. They still wear over the years and breakdown eventually.

Then we have the green factor, and the fact that these games, like all media, are made from precious resource. Take a look at this chart here that talks about some of the issues:

So that's a pretty big deal. But what can we do? What type of changes can we make to better the world in someway and still enjoy our games? Well I'm reminded of the old elementary school saying: Reduce first, then reuse, and lastly recycle. Read on for things that we can do:


- When in doubt, go without. Perhaps sometimes not buying a new game is best. Is that title worth owning? Do I really need it? Going outside and having an adventure in the real world is just as fun as a game. Maybe it's time to travel, checkout the park across the street, or hangout more with friends and family.

- Buy digital instead of a physical copy. For the most part, I'm all digital these days and loving it. Sites like Steam, Amazon, Green Man Gaming, and Origin make it super easy to download games. One could even download straight to their console or cell phone using similar services. It's as easy as ever to go green.


- Replay old favorites. I do this all the time! I've played my favorite game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time over 25 times. I've also clocked 230 hours in Final Fantasy XII, my close second for favorite game of all time, by going back after I beat it and completed almost all of the content. I love being in those worlds. We always say we're going to pop in an old classic and play again, but it's awesome when we actually do. It feels great to have that experience again, and if it's been a long while, some parts might even surprise you because they've been forgotten over time.

- Borrow or trade with a friend. My friends and I do this all the time. We have a similar respect for the way we treat our media, so I trust them with my beloved games and likewise. When the 3DS came out my amazing friends trusted me with not only a game that I wanted to play, but also let me borrow the handheld. How great is that! Then I didn't have to own one for myself. Also, if there's an awesome library in your area they might offer video games as well.


- Buy and sell used games. The concept: One in, one out, is a good saying to remember. Also, it's wonderful that someone else can use the game again and potentially love it just the same. Personally, I use Craigslists, Ebay, GameStop, and GameFly to sell and buy used games. 

- Properly recycle broken games. It's easier than ever these days to find a recycling center that will take old media. Use Earth911 to find a facility near you. By doing this, the toxic parts can be removed responsibly and the usable materials can be reprocessed into new products.

It's as simple and easy as that to make a change. Game on my dear friends!