2.6 billion people worldwide play video games. A large part of these growing players are becoming interested in saving and preserving the environment. According to a report published last year (2019) by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) titled ‘Playing for the Planet’, Video games for the good of the world, video games are able to engage billions of people in solving social and environmental challenges.
How big is the video game market?
American inventor Ralph Bear is said to be the father of video games. In 1972, Ralph planned to launch the world’s first readily available gaming console, the Odyssey. Designed specifically for video games, this output device allows people to play games on TV for the first time.
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Since then, video games have become a successful economic industry by utilizing technology and new ideas. The video game industry currently generates about 140 140 billion a year in revenue. You may be surprised to know that this amount is equal to the combined income of Hollywood, Bollywood and recorded sold songs. Not only is this income coming from those who play video games, but also those who watch video games contained in various media are a big partner in this income. In 2017 alone, 666 million people watched videos of others playing video games on YouTube and Twitter, more than the combined audience of ESPN, HBO and Netflix! Around three billion people worldwide regularly play video games every week, and by the end of the year the number had risen to 156 billion.
Video games with human help
In the 2019-20 season, about 18 million hectares of land were burnt to ashes in wildfires in Australia. None of the people, biodiversity, or plants were spared the horrors of that fire.
After the fire started in December, the players of Space Ape video games offered to help the victims of the fire to the gaming company. Responding to that offer, the London-based firm set the money for various games titles. In just four days of this initiative, 120 thousand dollars came up from the gamers!
Deborah Menshah-Bonsu, former content head at Space Ape Games, says, “The response from people shows how much they’re interested in engaging in good work initiatives.”
This is not the first time that video game players have received financial assistance in the event of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis. Animal Jam, a popular children’s video game developed by Wild Works, a US video game developer. The game has over 100 million registered users, about 22 percent of whom are from Latin America and the Philippines. They have donated more than 10 10 million since 2010 to conserve biodiversity and develop education. Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. Video games are a great way to reach a large segment of the population. And young people play video games the most. According to a UNEP report, young people aged 21-35 are more prone to video games. The United Nations believes that positive global change will not be complicated if video games can be used as a means of raising awareness among the younger generation.
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Game for this planet
The United Nations has formed an alliance with 25 of the world’s largest game development companies. The aim is to make about 970 million players of the video games created by the alliance aware of the climate crisis. Renowned gaming companies including Microsoft, Pixelveri Studio, Ubisoft, Space Ape have joined the alliance called ‘Playing for the Planet’. Coalition members have supported the integration of green environments into games, initiatives to reduce their emissions, and environmental issues around the world. At the same time, the companies have committed to take initiative to reduce the plastic in their products starting from planting millions of trees.
Let’s talk about Pixelverry. Their ‘Choices’ game is centered on a young woman, who has left her coastal village where lots of fish were dying. Her younger sister is convinced that climate change is linked to the horrors of fish deaths. Players in Choices try to help the young woman’s younger sister and create awareness about climate change.
The video game industry with an awareness of saving the environment
In August of this year, a number of video game companies began the process of incorporating environmental missions and environmental awareness messages into the popular games they created. This list includes popular games like Angry Birds 2, Golf Clash, Subway Surface. The companies hope the new additions will help make players aware of climate change, and involve them in protecting endangered species, such as wolves.
Video gaming is now one of the largest means of communication on the planet, says Sam Barrett, head of the UNEP’s Department of Education and Advocacy. According to him, “We aim to support this industry to raise awareness of environmental programs, as well as to educate, inspire and activate in related fields and it still seems to be working.”