A new study has examined the opinions of gamers on global warming.
The study was conducted in partnership between the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and Unity, examining climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy preferences, and behaviour among gamers in the United States.
2034 adult gamers in the US were interviewed between May 30th and June 7th, 2022.
The study found that 73 per cent of those studied believe in global warming, with 56 per cent understanding that this is caused largely by human activity. This is in line with the overall US populating, albeit with a slightly higher percentage of gamers believing in the existence of global warming than the general population (at 72 per cent.)
Gamers also showed consistently more concern regarding the issue than Americans in general, with 70 percent saying they were either 'somewhat worried' or 'very worried' about it, compared to 64 per cent of the general population.
Gamers also tended to feel more strongly about the issue than other Americans. When asked how they felt when reading news regarding global warming, 68 per cent said they were either 'very interested' or 'moderately interested', compared to 62 per cent of the general population.
57 per cent said they 'felt sad' (versus 51 per cent) while 50 per cent said they were 'outraged' (versus 42 per cent.) However, more gamers also reported that they felt hopeful than the general population – 53 per cent, compared to 38 per cent.
This data suggests that gamers are hitting a sweet spot, being consistently more aware of global warming and related issues, yet optimistic regarding the future. Despite this, 56 per cent of respondents state they believe that global warming will harm them personally, compared to just 47 per cent of the general population.
22 per cent of gamers stated that they had seen or heard content related to global warming in the previous year, either in games (16 per cent) or in a stream (16 per cent). 13 per cent of gamers stated that they took actions based on what they learned from this content, and a further 63 per cent stated they feel a personal sense of responsibility to tackle the issue.
Perhaps optimistically, few video gamers believe that it’s too late to do anything about global warming, with a combined 66 per cent either somewhat or strongly disagreeing with that statement. 49 per cent of gamers believe that new technologies can solve the problem without individuals having to make any significant changes to their lives.
Additionally, 54 per cent stated that global warming should be a high priority for the US President and Congress (compared to 51 per cent) while 61 per cent of both groups believe that developing sources of clean energy should be a top priority.
However, 51 per cent state that they hear about global warming in the media at least once a month, compared to 56 per cent of the non-gaming community. Interestingly, the data also suggests that gamers’ social circles are more engaged in the issue, with 34 per cent of those surveyed stating they know someone who discusses global warming at least once a month, compared to 24 per cent of the general population.
More than half of those surveyed stated that the gaming industry has a responsibility to address global warming, with 45 per cent stating the industry as a whole should do more (31 per cent) or much more (14 per cent) to tackle the issue.
Players worldwide are growing increasingly concerned regarding environmental matters. For example, this year saw the third annual Green Game Jam, recognizing game makers working hard towards a greener future.