Use Game Interface to Manage Power Consumption

May 12, 2009 -

Homeowners will soon be able to monitor their residential energy usage with a game-like interface which employs avatars similar to those found in Second Life. earth2tech reports that the OpenShaspa Home Energy Kit is now available:

The kit comes with a system that can monitor and control home power output with wireless sensors, and connect this data to mobile phone and Internet applications... Sensors for gas, water and other utility resources can be integrated into the control system, as well...

 

In what could be a first, OpenShaspa can be hooked up to a virtual world created with OpenSimulator, an open-source spinoff of Second Life... Shaspa’s developers believe that modeling energy consumption data in 3D could make it more comprehensible and easier to manage.

GP: As of this writing, no price or distributor info is listed on the Shaspa site. While the tech is exciting, as one earth2tech commenter points out, it will need to have serious security measures built in, lest a hacker crank the heat up to 90 and overflow the bathtub while you are away.

6 comments

For Earth Day, National Geographic Launches Green Casual Game

April 22, 2009 -

Today is Earth Day and National Geographic is celebrating with the launch of Plan It Green, a city building sim with an appropriately environmental theme.

National Geographic is touting the new offering as "the first green casual game." A description on the Plan It Green website sketches out the details:

As the Mayor of Greenville, players have the opportunity to create a green city... As mayor of your hometown, you have vowed to bring about a new green future by changing the ways of the past,. You are working with close supporters to restore Greenvile to its former glory and beauty.

 

Watch as Greenville transforms before your eyes as you build eco-homes, apply green upgrades and bring new clean jobs and industry to your hometown!  Plan It Green is the first game that leverages the resources of National Geographic, an organization that was green when green wasn’t cool.

Features of the game include:

  • Improving 8 neighborhoods across 45 levels
  • Upgrading the town with parks, eco-homes and environmental upgrades
  • Building eco-friendly houses, stores and businesses
  • Picking the latest eco-upgrades
  • Monitor your Greendex as you track towards a more sustainable environment

A free demo is available. The full version of Plan It Green sells for $19.95.

11 comments

PETA Plans Save the Seals Event on World of Warcraft

April 8, 2009 -

The increasingly game-aware People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will hold a save-the-virtual-baby-seals event in World of Warcraft at 1 P.M. EST on Saturday.

According to a post on the PETA site:

Activists from across the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor are banding together to put a stop to the atrocious seal slaughter. Anyone who slaughters baby seals for their fur must surely be in service to the evil Lich King.

 

You must be in the WhisperWind realm in order to fight... go to Northrend, where you will find a zone called Howling Fjord, where the baby seals live on glaciers and boats float in the fjords. This will be the battleground to stop the slaughter.

Unfortunately, casual WoW players will not be able to check the event out since characters need to be level 68+ to enter the Howling Fjord zone. One of the reasons why the Ron Paul WoW campaign rally was so successful was that it took place in a starter zone.

In addition, hardcore WoW fans have posted comments to the PETA article and its Facebook event listing pointing out other concerns:

I actually do find this somewhat ironic, as there is soooooo much animal killing involved during the levelling of your characters.

I am a little aghast that you chose Alliance; if you want to be environmental you really want to be looking at the Tauren mythology. They are one with the earth and they are very environmental. As someone who plays mostly Horde characters, this just comes off as prejudiced.

Whisperwind is NOT a pvp server, most likely you are just going to be a witness to the biggest in game seal slaughter and you will be powerless to do anything about it.

Whisperwind is already a very high population server, which means most PETA members are just going to see the queue screen like the Ron Paul people did.

49 comments

Whaling Protest Game "Harpooned" Gets an Update

April 6, 2009 -

GamePolitics first reported on Harpooned: Japanese Cetacean Research Simulator more than a year ago.

The protest game, designed to raise public awareness of the fight against commercial whaling, has now received a 2009 update.

New features include

  • a Mac version
  • players can now capture protesters that get too close to the whaling vessel
  • online leaderboards
4 comments

Greenpeace: Nintendo Stills Ranks Worst on Environmental Issues

April 1, 2009 -

With Earth Day on this month's calendar, environmental group Greenpeace has issued its latest Guide to Greener Electronics. The report documents how well consumer electronics manufacturers perform in relation to the environment.

In Nintendo's case, nothing has changed; the Wii and DS maker remains dead last. Apparently, the phenomenal success of the Wii has contributed to an increase in Nintendo's CO2 emissions.

Among other console makers, Sony showed improvement, while Microsoft regressed, according to Greenpeace. The organization dinged MS for poor handling of e-waste.

From the report:

Nintendo remains in last place with a pitiful 0.8 points out of 10, scoring zero on all e-waste criteria. The company has banned phthalates and is monitoring use of antimony and beryllium and although it is endeavouring to eliminate the use of PVC, it has not set a timeline for its phase out.

 

Nintendo discloses carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its own operations and commits to cutting CO2emissions and other greenhouse gases by 2% over each previous year. However, Nintendo admits that an increase in business led to a 6% rise in CO2 emissions in 2006.

Grab a PDF of the Greenpeace report here.

36 comments

Online Game Recreates Environmentalist's Sliming of British Official

March 13, 2009 -

by Dennis McCauley

Editor

Last week, an environmentalist protesting the expansion of Heathrow Airport threw a cup of green custard at British Business Secretary Lord Mandelson outside the Royal Society in London.

The protester, Leila Dean, 29, has been arrested by Scotland Yard over the incident.

T-Enterprise has now posted an online game lampooning the Mandelson sliming. Players toss custard at Lord Mandelson to score points. Hitting former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, however, may earn the player a punch in the nose. Prescott once slugged a protester who threw an egg at him.

10 comments

Could Playing WoW Help Conserve Energy?

February 20, 2009 -

Could your addiction to World of Warcraft help green up the planet?

Possibly, according to Prof. Byron Reeves of Stanford. Appearing recently on the Living on Earth radio program, Reeves suggested that Smart Meters, which monitor household electricity usage, could be linked to WoW:

So imagine that you're in your home, you're signed into [the] game… and you make a decision in the game to turn off the lights in an unused bedroom [in real life]. As soon as you do that, the Smart Meter recognizes that, sends the information through the network to your computer and your house [in the game] turns a shade of green that it wasn't before.

 

And if I'm using less electricity, my team might do well. I get gold pieces and points… whatever the game designers think is fun. You get feedback in an entertainment game about what you're doing in the real world.

GP: There is, of course, no player ownership of houses in WoW, at least not at this time. The prof was apparently brainstorming possibilities that could be applied to MMOs in general. That's an old screenshot of my WoW character, by the way...

Via: Kotaku

24 comments

UK Politico Wants Games to Spread News About Climate Change

February 6, 2009 -

British political figure Lord Puttnam wants people to know about global warming, and he wants video games to help teach them.

As reported by Edge Online, Puttnam, who is also a film producer, issued a press release promoting the nexus of games and climate change education:

Serious games based upon real-life geography should be vital tools in our fight against climate change. Educating people about the impact of prolonged changes to our climate in an accessible way is the best catalyst for action I know.‭

Lord Puttnam previously chaired‭ ‬the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill and is the founding Chair‭ ‬of the National Endowment for Science,‭ ‬Technology and the Arts.

He also delivered the closing keynote at last September's Handheld Learning 2008 conference in London.

28 comments

Five Steps to Green Up Your Gaming

January 8, 2009 -

In November, the Natural Resources Defense Council issued a report showing that game consoles consume enough electricity per year to power every home in San Diego.

More recently, ecology-minded site Planet Green offered tips for more environmentally-friendly gaming:

Turn Off the Console When Not in Use... An Xbox or a Playstation 3 left on 24/7/365 uses as much energy as two modern fridges.

 

Buy a Wii - The Wii uses only 16 watts of energy while in Active Mode. The Xbox uses 119 and the Playstation uses 150...

 

Use the Power Saver Mode - If you have a Playstation or Xbox, you can reduce the energy use of these consoles by digging around the menus and finding the auto-power down option...

 

Don't Watch Movies on Your Game System - Watching a Blu-Ray movie on the Playstation 3 uses 5 times more power than watching it on a standard Blu-Ray player.

 

Dispose of Mangled Systems Properly - ...never throw the [unrepairable] system into the garbage. Most modern video game systems contain toxic chemicals... dispose of it with other hazardous materials...

Via: Amazon Game Room Blog

47 comments

Report: Game Consoles Waste Energy

November 19, 2008 -

My wife already thinks that I waste too much time on video games. Wait until she finds out that I'm wasting energy, too.

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council maintains that game consoles can significantly add to consumers' electric bills. In fact, across the United States, consoles consume as much juice in a year as the combined total of residential electricity users in San Diego.

The solution? One piece of the puzzle is not to leave your system on when you're done playing. NRDC Senior Scientist Noah Horowitz commented:

If you leave your Xbox 360 or Sony Play Station 3 on all the time, you can cut your electric bill by as much as $100 a year simply by turning it off when you are finished playing. With so many struggling in today’s economy – it’s important to realize there are simple steps gamers can take to lower their energy costs. And if manufacturers make future systems more energy efficient, they’ll be doing the right thing for consumers’ pockets, for our clean energy future, and for the environment.

Among the big three, the PlayStation 3 is the energy hog of the bunch, consuming 150 watts per hour in active mode. The Xbox 360 isn't far behind, at 119. The Nintendo Wii, on the other hand, is the console of choice for the conservation-minded, drawing just 16 watts in active mode.

The NRDC claims that a combination of more efficient console hardware and educating gamers to use power-saving features currently built into the 360 and later PS3 models would save consumers a billion dollars a year and cut down on the type of pollution that leads to global warming.

Other goodies from the must-read report:

  • watching a movie on your PS3 consumers 5 times the power of using a stand-alone Blu-Ray player
  • average annual energy cost for a launch model (2006) PS3 user is $160
  • the 2007 PS3 is more efficient: annual cost is $134
  • For launch (2006) Xbox 360 users, it's $143; drops to $103 for 2007 models (GP: less RROD as well!!)
  • it costs $10 per year to operate a Wii
  • the game industry and game media should encourage console owners to use auto power-down features built into the 360 and PS3
  • the next hardware generation should be more efficient and have auto-power down
  • an auto-save feature should preserve game progress when the system auto-powers down
  • controllers should have a "sleep" button

Grab the full report here.

165 comments

Game Retailers: Game Packaging is Green

October 28, 2008 -

Game consoles may be full of noxious stuff, but game packaging is green, baby.

At least, that's the word from the Entertainment Merchants Association, the trade group which represents hundreds of video game and DVD retailers.

In partnership with the Content Delivery and Storage Association, the EMA has just released the results of a study into what consumers do with game and DVD packaging. Conducted by the NPD Group, the research makes games seem environmentally friendly:

  • Rather than discarding video game and DVD packaging, consumers overwhelmingly store their video games and DVDs in their original cases
  • when consumers no longer want to keep a game or DVD, they rarely throw it away or recycle it
  • 45 % of DVD owners give the title to someone else, as will 24 % of game owners
  • 54% of game owners will trade it in or sell it; the trade/sell rate is 27 % for DVDs
  • 89% of DVD owners and 88 % of game owners store their DVDs and games in their original cases
  • only 6% of DVD owners and 5% of video game owners throw away or recycle the cases.

Of the results, EMA CEO Bo Andersen commented:

In packaged home entertainment, consumers view the packaging cases as part of the product and not something to be tossed. The cases provide product protection, allow easy title identification, and carry the artwork that is integral to the consumer’s association with the title.


GP: An interesting and obvious conclusion is that trading in used games is not only good for consumers, it's good for the environment. Now, about that landfill full of E.T. cartridges...

So, GP readers, what do you do with your old games?

25 comments

Consoles to Receive Standards from Energy Star

October 15, 2008 -

Tree Hugger reports that console makers Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will soon receive compliance guidelines from Energy Star, the government agency that encourages efficient use of power:

Gaming consoles are finally getting some attention from Energy Star, whose new 5.0 specifications will take a look at the power consumption of these devices and set more stringent standards.

Starting July 2009, PlayStations, Xboxes, Wiis and similar consoles will at last have some requirements on how efficient they must be to earn an Energy Star seal of approval...  With an effective date of July 1, 2010, manufacturers should have some time between the new standards set in 2009 and the next round of consoles coming off the lines in 2010 to create energy efficient devices.

Via: Kotaku

39 comments

Online Game: Go Hunting with Sarah Palin

October 14, 2008 -

Atom.com has posted the latest in a string of Sarah Palin parody games.

Hunting with Palin casts the player in the role of America's best-known hockey mom as she takes aim at endangered Alaskan wildlife as well as Russian ships, subs and Migs. Those pesky Commies are just across the way, you know...

Points off for hitting Eskimo dog sled teams, snowmobilers, oil rigs or John McCain, who occasionally pops out.

1 comment

Polar Palin: First Sarah Palin Game Has Landed

September 12, 2008 -

On Tuesday GamePolitics took note of the release of a Sarah Palin action figure and wondered how long it would take for a Palin-based game to hit the web.

Answer: Three days.

Today, U.K.-based T-Enterprise has unveiled Polar Palin.

In the game the player controls a dynamite-equipped polar bear who attempts to blow up Palin-driven "campaign tanks" as well as oil rigs.

What's it all about? Here is the explanation given on the game site:

The U.S. recently classified the Alaskan polar bear as a threatened species because of the destruction of its natural habitat. It is predicted that the population of bears could be reduced by two-thirds by the year 2050 due to pollution and global warming.

 

The state of Alaska, led by Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is to sue the U.S. interior secretary to reverse the decision amid fears that it will hinder oil and gas development.

 

27 comments

Wal-Mart Wants to Turn the Game Biz Green

September 6, 2008 -

Perhaps the video game industry is taking environmental concerns raised by Greenpeace last year to heart?

According to Walmart’s official blog, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and a few publishers such as EA and Activision recently attended a green gaming summit where they discussed various ways to be more environmentally friendly.  Here are a few suggestions reported by Joe Muha, Walmart’s gadgets and gaming guy:

  • Switching to cardboard packaging would be like taking almost 4,000 cars off the road in terms of equivalent green house gas emissions. 
  • Working with console manufacturers on coding and power usage design can reduce the power consumption when we use our devices for media playback. 
  • Focusing on the next generation of consoles would allow the machines to be built from the ground up to use less power while providing an even better experience. 
  • Developing software and hardware that allows us to save the game so we do not have to leave it on would allow us to turn it off during a meal break or overnight without loosing our place. Additionally, come clever programming would allow the console to go into a lower power, standby mode when not in use.

Muha elaborates on the game save issue in his blog’s comments section:

Not every game allows us to save whenever we would like. We even discussed the idea of an "autosave" if the game is left alone after a set period of time and the console would go to a low power mode.

Via: Kotaku

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

135 comments

At DNC, No Child Left Inside Group Blames Video Games

August 30, 2008 -

A friend attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week. Among the many items he snagged was a pamphlet from the No Child Left Inside Coalition, a group which seeks to foster environmental awareness and activity among young people.

That's all quite commendable. Less praiseworthy, however, is the fact that the group's brochure (obtained by GP) takes a cheap shot at video games in its opening paragraph:

Young people across America are spending more and more time inside - hooked up to video games, computers, and television, instead of learning, playing and exploring outside. The results are profound: increases in childhood obesity, a lack of understanding of the environment and a disconnection from the natural world.

Why some kids don't go outside or don't get enough exercise or are overweight would seem to be very complex social issues involving a myriad of factors, including available recreational opportunities, socioeconomic status, neighborhood safety, parenting, nonstop marketing of high-calorie food and drinks, etc.

Thumbs-down to No Child Left Inside for pointing the finger at video games...

56 comments

"Britain's Got Crabs" Game Highlights American Crayfish Invasion

August 25, 2008 -

Earlier this year the BBC reported that the introduction of the highly aggressive American signal crayfish had essentially killed sport fishing in Scotland's Loch Ken.

With the region's traditional fishing tourism in steep decline, the economic health of towns around the Loch is in jeopardy.

By way of publicizing the crisis T-Enterprise has created Britain's Got Crabs, a Flash game which challenges "British Beavers" to shoot waves of the crayfish. It's not much of a game, but it does help to raise awareness of the ecologic crisis in the Loch.

GP: The game is embedded here, so if you'd like to try it just click Play...

12 comments

Games for Change Design Contest Winners Announced in Paris

July 11, 2008 -

Games for Change has issued a press release announcing the winners of the Xbox 360 Games for Change Challenge.

The announcement came at the Louvre in Paris.

Each of the entries was created using Microsoft's XNA Game Studio software. The winners are:

  1. CityRain from Mother Gaia Studio in Brazil
  2. Future Flow from Belgium’s Drunk Puppy
  3. CleanUp from the South Korean team Gomz

Suzanne Seggerman, President and Co-founder of Games for Change, commented:

What’s most exciting about this game contest is that not only are the brightest young people from around the world engaged in creating these new games, they are also laying the foundation for a new genre – socially-responsible video games. And this is where it all begins.

Games for Change bills itself as "the primary non-profit behind the new movement using video games to promote social change." The organization teamed up with Microsoft to offer the game design contest  based on environmental themes.

3 comments

Blog Traces History of NYC in Video Games

April 23, 2008 -
Everyone who follows video games knows by now that Liberty City, the setting for the hotly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV, is an ultra-realistic depiction of New York.

But the Big Apple has been the setting for many a past video game, according to The Bowery Boys:
The difficult part is actually figuring out, in fact, if a game takes place in New York. For instance, Frogger could take place in New York, if the West Side Highway straddled a Hudson River full of logs and turtles. Pac-Man is certainly a metaphoric representation of the Financial District. If Donkey Kong is an homage to King Kong, wouldn't that mean he's throwing barrels from the Empire State Building?

...In 1984, anxious Atari and Commodore 64 owners got their hands on a more literal tribute to the city -- The Big Apple. In the simple game, a player maneuvers through a traffic free midtown Manhattan... This game looks a bit like a malfunctioning digital watch and was appropriately forgotten.

The Bowery Boys go on to list several old school titles, including Punch Out!!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project.
The first [game] to make a real attempt at a recognizable New York landscape was probably 1989's Manhunter: New York, a clunky and mostly unexciting action game set in the post-apocalyptic future of 2002. However it did manage to depict city landmarks in ways that were at least recognizable, if primitive...

The excellent write-up also names games such as Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, Deus Ex, Max Payne and XIII, while noting True Crime: New York City as a turning point for its realistic depiction of NYC. It's definitely worth a read.
11 comments

Game Over for New Mexico Video Game Tax

February 16, 2008 -

New Mexico's much-discussed No Child Left Inside Act has been left out in the cold by state legislators.

More properly known as HB583, the bill proposed by Rep. Gail Chasey (left) would have levied a 1% surcharge on video games and TV sets. The measure enjoyed the support of environmental group the Sierra Club.

But the Associated Press is now reporting that HB583 has failed to clear the New Mexico Legislature's House Business & Industry Committee. From the AP:
 

The measure had been backed by a broad coalition of groups, led by the Sierra Club. The fund would have helped pay for outdoor education throughout the state. The tax would have been the first of its kind in the nation...


 

Critics complained they shouldn’t have to foot the bill for parents who don’t know how to raise their children.

 

16 comments

Eco-Creatures: Environmental Awareness Comes to Nintendo DS

February 1, 2008 -
Seattle's KING-5 has a report on Majesco's upcoming real-time strategy game Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest for the Nintendo DS:
Majesco Entertainment says Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest is the only one of its kind to promote awareness of the perils of "…over-industrialization, deforestation, pollution, extinction and global warming."

With proper care, the creatures can evolve to learn new abilities that help complete the game’s more than 40 environmental missions.

GameSpot has more:
As the name implies, Eco-Creatures is an awfully green game... It's very environmentally friendly... The graphical style may be awfully cutesy, but it looks like there's quite a bit of depth and complexity to the gameplay, so older, tactically minded DS owners may want to give it a look as well.

Eco-Creatures launches on March 4th.
19 comments

Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
PHX Corphttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=176931667&postcount=12 although it's a little late, a comic strip on neogaf about the "release it now, patch it later" culture08/30/2015 - 7:37am
Papa MidnightBack to when, RedMade? A week ago? (seriously, though...)08/30/2015 - 1:55am
RedMageOh hey, a news station is trying to scapegoat gaming. That takes me back. https://twitter.com/GamingAnarchist/status/63754361236507443208/29/2015 - 1:40pm
Big PermA link to TB twitter with Matt Lees in the replies - https://twitter.com/Totalbiscuit/status/52528604482949939208/29/2015 - 12:16pm
Brad GlasgowWhy would he say the company lies about getting abuse? Oh, because people don't abuse GG?08/29/2015 - 10:38am
Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - http://ow.ly/RwXYT08/29/2015 - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - http://ow.ly/RwVeT08/29/2015 - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - http://ow.ly/RwSCd08/29/2015 - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician