How much do video games pollute? Do not make them, nor distribute them, whose impact is devastating; but play video games. A study of the European bank Credit Suisse has marked this activity as one of the most polluting that we can do at home, calculating that extreme use of a PC gaming high performance once a week for a year is an energy expenditure that causes the emission of 452 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere.
This study relates the contamination of certain activities with the amount of trees necessary to counteract it in order to make citizens aware of the need to reforest the planet. In that sense, Treeprint (this is what the study is called) considers that to alleviate the contamination of a person playing video games once a week for a year 11 adult birch trees required.
Other entertainment activities are also highly polluting, but not as much as video games: using a desktop computer for eight hours a day emits 123 kg of CO2 per year, which would require three trees in return, while a work laptop emits 67 kg. of CO2 per year, so two trees would be needed.
Those figures correspond to extreme use of a high-performance PC, but what happens when we switch platforms? According to this study, making lighter use of a computer with the same characteristics reduces emissions up to 153 kg of CO2 per year, while if we make intensive use of a PS4 Pro we will be emitting 163 kg of CO2.
The emissions of playing video games intensively on PC once a week for a year are only comparable to those of other activities such as eating red meat and potatoes with cherry tomatoes once a week (499 kg of CO2) or travel by plane over distances similar to London-Paris twice a year round trip (430 kg of CO2). Another of the most striking data of this study is that it indicates that showers that we take throughout the year emit 308 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere.
On this basis, the French medium The echoes has made an estimate of the number of times we should carry out these activities to reduce our personal contamination: based on data from the Credit Suisse study, this header recommends that we stop playing video games and that we shower only three times a week with a maximum duration of three minutes.