Trista Patterson, Director of Game Sustainability, Xbox joined the Xbox Podcast this week with a very clear message:
“The stability of games is something that Xbox is very proud of and is making great strides towards. But because of climate (change) you cannot beat your competitor. You must compete against your best in each category. And just as we say, “When everyone plays, everyone wins,” the same goes for “When everyone reduces energy and emissions, everyone on the planet wins.” Undoubtedly”.
Appearing on the podcast following Xbox’s announcement of a a new set of tools for developers designed to reduce energy consumption and emissions with gaming code, Patterson explained how she and her team have taken groundbreaking steps to help the entire industry adopt a more sustainable mindset and “create powerful good through the gaming industry.”
It was not an easy task. “For a long time, the industry argued that greening the game code would not bring any benefits,” explained Patterson. “And that’s because there’s a huge amount of complexity between the hardware, the software, the electrical and other engineering, the design, and then the game code itself, which creates the power needed to create the gaming experience.”
“In a broad sense, the industry has decided that this is an absolutely intractable problem – in fact, the UN Game for the Planet Alliance just a month ago thought that it was a problem that could not be solved.”
The solution to this seemingly impossible problem was to create resources for developers to detect “power bugs” – previously invisible problems created by coding that may inadvertently consume more power than necessary – at source and fix them quickly. While Xbox has already taken a step forward reduce the power consumption of the consoles themselvesthis new work will help developers reduce power consumption through the games you play.
“You can have fun breaking things in the game. And now we are No having fun smashing the planet. Let’s have fun fixing it.”
At GDC, Xbox announced the launch of a new Developer Sustainability Toolkit, a power monitoring system, certification reports, power dashboards, guides, case studies, and a pilot program that offers specialized help to game developers who want to work on the energy of their games. consumption. The goal is to “develop the precise visual and analytical feedback that game developers need to make changes to their code that will allow them to reduce power consumption on the consoles in the living room of every gamer in the world.”
This openness that it’s not just about the Xbox platform is key here: “I think it’s really great that when a studio sees how to just fix so many of these energy bugs, they fix them in a way that doesn’t just reduce emissions on the Xbox console platform , but they implement (them) throughout the game code. And that game code is then released on almost every other platform they release on in the future.”
The work doesn’t stop with Xbox developers either: “We’re empowering and inviting the rest of the industry to use this information, these case studies, these tools, and inspire them with their own investigations to be able to make an impact, no matter how small or large their game studio.”
The overall goal here is to make the sheer size of the gaming industry not a sustainability problem, but part of the solution, and by harnessing the inherent positivity of this creative space:
“In the environmental sphere, everything is spinning to the right and to the left. It’s a depressing field. If society is constantly focused on things going wrong and we are faced with stories of loss and destruction, it is true that statistically we face many challenges, but games open up all these amazing, creative solutions to problems… You can have fun breaking things in the game. And now we are No having fun smashing the planet. Let’s have fun fixing it.”