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UN: There’s no "free pass" for the games industry when it comes to green efforts

"Everyone can and must play a part," says Playing for the Planet co-founder Sam Barratt

At Devcom today, UN Environment's chief of education, youth and advocacy, and Playing for the Planet co-founder, Sam Barratt, called for the games industry to act in the face of the climate crisis.

In a talk entitled "Lessons learned while Playing for the Planet" that he co-hosted with the UN's Lisa Pak, UNEP's Xiao Wang, and Ubisoft's Dominik Kirner, Barratt highlighted the current momentum in the games industry and how it's in a prime position to lead efforts to be greener.

"The opportunity for engagement and connection is limitless," Barratt said, explaining that gamers are no longer playing just to "play" but also to connect and learn, meaning the industry has a fantastic opportunity to send the right message about the climate crisis, but also to be more environmentally-friendly itself.

"Everyone, everywhere, can and must play a part in this," he continued. "I don't think there's a free pass for the gaming industry because it's critical, we need to cut our emissions by 50% within the next eight years.

"Video games can be transformative in this. What we need is to get all hands on deck everywhere to make a difference."

He added: "The opportunity to get people to [act] on this agenda has never been better because it's personally affecting all of us right now. The power of gaming is unprecedented, so the UN is really keen to help your leadership but it's also your leadership from inside the studios that can make the difference."

Keep an eye out for a longer write-up of this Devcom session in the coming weeks.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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