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Climate change implications of gaming products and services

Aslan, Joshua (2020) Climate change implications of gaming products and services Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

There is increasing concern over the climate change impact of games consoles. There is, however, little research on the life cycle carbon impact of consoles and existing research (the majority of which is focused on usage) is outdated. This study uses life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to compare the climate change impact of different console-based gaming methods (i.e. games played from a disc, a down-loaded file, or streamed from the cloud). Console usage and Internet usage were identified as life cycle stages where data were unknown or uncertain. Two studies to improve the understanding of these areas were undertaken in this research and used to complete a cradle-to-grave carbon footprint study of gaming (compared using a functional unit of carbon equivalent emissions per hour of gameplay). Results estimated that, for average cases, download is the lowest carbon method of gaming at 0.047 kgCO2e/h, followed by disc at 0.055 kgCO2e/h. Cloud gaming has higher estimated carbon emissions at 0.149 kgCO2e/h, largely due to the additional energy consumed during use in the Internet, gaming servers, and home router equip-ment. These findings only represent average cases and the size of game files and length of gameplay time were found to be key variables significantly impacting the results. For example, for games played for under 8 hours, cloud gaming was found to have lower carbon emissions than downloads (up to 24 hours when compared to disc). In order to analyse these results, a new method for identifying which gaming method has the lowest carbon emissions with variation in both file size and gameplay time was developed. This has allowed for the identification of the thresholds in which different gaming methods have lowest carbon emissions, for any given range of input variables. The carbon emissions of gaming are highly dependent on consumer behav-iour (which game method is used, how long games are played for, and the type and size of those games) and therefore LCA based on average assumptions for these variables has limited application.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Aslan, Joshuahttp://orcid.org/0000-0003-0834-8282
Date : 28 February 2020
Funders : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00853729
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSMayers, Kierenkieren.mayers@sony.comhttp://orcid.org/0000-0002-2319-4560
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSFrance, ChrisC.France@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSLee, JacquettaJ.Lee@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSMurphy, Richardrj.murphy@surrey.ac.uk
Depositing User : Joshua Aslan
Date Deposited : 06 Mar 2020 15:31
Last Modified : 06 Mar 2020 15:32
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853729

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