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Earth Hour and WoW

Amanda Miller

Tonight the world will be celebrating Earth Hour, with individuals, cities and businesses turning off and unplugging as many of their electronics and lights as possible. How can you get involved when you have a scheduled raid, or when this is the only time for you to play today?

You need not feel pressured to unplug everything. Turn out as many lights as you can throughout your home, unplug the electronics and appliances in rooms you are not using, and consult Well Fed Buff for the perfect lights-out snack you can prepare before 8:00 p.m.

This event is important, not because it will change the entire world, but because it will send a message. Not only will we have the opportunity to think about our impact, and learn about just how much power the world did save in that one dark hour, but businesses and governments will realize just how serious people are today about the environment.

Gamers should be a part of that message. Lately, we have been garnering a poor reputation for ourselves, and not because we might all turn into mass murderers from staring all day violent images.

The environmental impact of gaming is huge, and far more widespread than many players realize. The research and development into the technology, including more powerful machines, graphics, and the like, as well as the servers used to host and test games, are all behind the impact of just having your computer or console turned on.

We are a driving force in the world. The gaming industry is huge, and our opinions matter. So far, Sony has jumped on the bandwagon and made commitments to:

  1. ...cut its CO2 emissions by 7% by 2010, compared to its emissions in 2000.
  2. ...increase energy efficiency in its production facilities worldwide, including Japan, Europe, China and the US, and all subsidiaries.
  3. ...switch fuel from oil to renewable energy sources and natural gas.
  4. ...replace some of the strong greenhouse gases currently being used in specific production systems with eco-friendly options.
  5. ...increasing the energy efficiency of its appliances.
  6. ...employ consumer outreach strategies, to encourage the rest of us to think about our environmental impact.
I'm not suggesting that we all stop the games, the computers, the extra displays, and all the other fun gadgets we like to use; but it won't hurt anybody to send the message that even tech junkies care about the environment. If you can sign out of WoW, and the servers drop in population, all the better. If not, you could make an extra effort elsewhere in your home.

Will you, or have you already depending on time zone, participate(d) in Earth Hour? Why or why not? How far did you take it? Have any of you druids and Tauren felt an extra push to to make a show for the environment? If you are Canadian, have you also felt an extra sense of duty, especially as Canada is leading in the show of support?

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