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Green innovations to come from games sector

Tue 22 Jun 2021 | 07:15 am GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure from Ustwo Games

Games sector has the potential to make a significant impact on both how climate change is perceived by the global games playing community and developing innovative technology-driven solutions. With the global gaming industry worth over $300 billion (more than the combined markets for movies and music), the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a surge in mobile gaming as well as an emphasis on social interaction. We talk to Daniel Wood, Special Projects Lead, UKie and Games Associate, Creative England ahead of the Sustainability in Licensing Conference (June 24-25), where is taking part in a panel discussion on ‘Gaming for Social Change’. Why do you think it is important that the gaming industry takes a stand on sustainability/green issues? This is really important because the games sector has the potential to make a significant impact on both how climate change is perceived by the global games playing community and in how we tackle it and develop innovative solutions, individually, as businesses and collectively as a, technology-driven creative sector. You released the Green Games Guide earlier this year, how has that been received by the industry? We’ve had a really positive reaction to the Green Games Guide. The guide was created as a starting point to raise awareness in the sector of the urgent need to reduce emissions and to help business consider how they can help educate billions of players to think about environmental issues. We think it’s the first guide of its kind, gathering case studies and emission reduction guidance in one place but it’s just a first step and we are planning more activity to get the sector engaged in tackling the climate crisis. What are some good in-game green activations? There is a growing number of games business thinking about how they can make a difference. There are a few examples in our Green Games Guide, including Ustwo Games’, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, SEGA’s innovative sustainable packaging and Playmob’s Mission 1.5, which ended up being the largest poll ever conducted on attitudes on climate change with 1.2 million validated votes from over 50 countries. Do you think gamers are changing their perceptions on green issues? Most people play games these days and like all consumers, games players will already be considering their impact on the environment and making purchasing and behavioural choices based on this. This is reflected in the games they play, with a growing number of games that now draw on the environment and nature as a source of inspiration and hopefully get players thinking more about how they can have an impact themselves. How about Ukie itself? What are you doing as an industry body in the sustainability space? As well as publishing the Green Games Guide, we’re busy helping the sector to look at new ways it can have a positive impact on climate change and convening conversations about how businesses can do this. So for example we’re hosting a Global Green Games Summit ahead of COP26 and holding our regular Sustainability Group meetings. We’re also looking at new areas like how a game is coded or digitally stored and distributed can be made more sustainable. Tickets to the Sustainability in Licensing Conference are £100 (+VAT) and available from www.sustainabilityinlicensing.com, or from Clare Hollick of Createvents (event support) on clare@createvents.co.uk or by calling 0118 334 0085. Products of Change members can save 20% on ticket prices. As well as access to the two-day conference, delegates will also be able to check out the content on-demand for 30 days afterwards.
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