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Dr. Benjamin Abraham launched a business called AfterClimate to aid smaller game developers and give them solutions for how to decarbonize their work.
Source: ABC News/YouTube
“I look at the Pakistan floods, and I wish they were a surprise,” Abraham said in an interview with The Washington Post. “But that’s exactly what scientists have been saying for decades is going to happen, and it’s going to happen to more people. … The game developers I’ve talked to are some of the most socially conscious people I’m aware of. I think they’re starting to go, ‘All right, what do we need to do?’ ”
AfterClimate gives developers different tiers of service depending on how much effort developers want to put toward their decarbonization. The company will collect data from electricity bills, power sources, and conversations about a studio or developer’s workspace to estimate overall emissions. They will then compare to similarly sized video game companies. If emissions are high, AfterClimate will automatically offer suggestions. They might suggest that a studio transitions to renewable energy in places where they are using a significant amount.
AfterClimate can also offer a full audit of all up and downstream emissions. This includes if they bought new equipment, they would be able to give an audit of the emissions from the manufacturing and delivery, the players accessing the game, and more.
“We can look at that and go, ‘What’s the full scope of that? How do we best reduce those emissions?’ ” said Abraham. “Is it by making hardware last longer? Is it by changing something about the way the game works? Is it shifting more and more computational power into the cloud? It might be moving into streaming games, or it might be the reverse. It depends on where people are in the world, where the players are; the whole world has varying levels of emissions intensity for the electricity we receive.”
Abraham hopes that he can use AfterClimate to also advocate for a larger and systemic change in the video game industry. Abraham pointed to California’s Title 20 regulations which limit the amount of power that gaming and computer systems can use in a given year.
“I think regulation is going to be one of the main ways we [solve this problem]. We’re not going to be able to govern everyone otherwise. People don’t just voluntarily change how they live.”
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