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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Implications of the Playing for the Planet Alliance 2022 Report (and the Green Game Jam) and its Statistical Falsehoods

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There's some amazing (as in, it's amazing how deceptive this is) self-back-patting here. But that could affect the games you play going forward.

Do you remember KoopaTV's article on the “Playing for the Planet Alliance” back when it was made in 2019? It's an effort sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme to get a bunch of game development companies and associations to:

  1. Reduce the carbon impact of the gaming industry to zero
  2. Insert environmental messages into videogames to get gamers to change their personal behaviour
At present, its members include industry heavyweights like Bandai Namco, Microsoft (and you can remember they're vocal about their green initiatives on the Xbox), Niantic, SEGA, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Unity. And before you bring up a talking point about how UN climate initiatives tend to leave big polluters alone, TiMi Studio Group (a subsidiary of Tencent Games of CHINA) is also a member. And they've met 100% of their carbon goal in 2022!

In 2019, I brought up how Nintendo is not a member. In 2023, they still aren't a member, though Niantic has been planting trees in Pok√©mon GO and Pikmin Bloom based on players walking. Several videogame associations across Earth (especially Europe) are members... except for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the primary videogame group in the USA. Regardless of that true fact, they're out spreading this false “fact”:

Don't you think it's weird that the ESA is boosting the message of an alliance that they themselves aren't a part of? Not that I'm necessarily complaining. Anyway, that 81% number sees impressive. Let's break down what they're talking about... and when you get into the details, you'll realise that the “FAST FACT” is more like FAKE NEWS.

Earlier in 2022, the Playing for the Planet Alliance had the Green Game Jam of 2022, which was a coordinated effort by game publishers to push environmental propaganda and “green activations” to gamers. It's not clear what the timeline in 2022 actually was for how long this lasted. (For example, the Global Game Jam is for several days at the end of January, featuring many amateur game developers creating something new in that time.) In 2022, their goal was to plant a million trees and get a million people to become vegan. According to the alliance, its members planted (or donated to Ecosia an amount equivalent of planting) 2.5 million trees and had a virtual “climate march” in Riders Republic, that massively multiplayer online Ubisoft bicycle game I made fun of during E3 2021 and then forgot about ever since. And they also stated that they did a “[s]urvey of nearly 400,000 gamers [that] shows players are keen on green: 70% of respondents[said] they’d be open to changing their environmental behaviors; a figure which rose to 81% after playing green activations as part of the Green Game Jam.”

That's not how the survey was actually structured, according to their Green Game Jam Player Survey 2022 report. If you're wondering how the survey actually happened, it was a multiple choice form from within these games and via social media... and it was actually two different surveys. One before the Green Game Jam, and one after the Green Game Jam. They didn't necessarily (but could have) survey the same people in both times, and the two surveys didn't have the same exact questions. Here were the games from where they asked the questions. I haven't heard of any of them before this and I think the majority or possibly all of these are mobile games, but let me know in the comments section if you have and you feel like this is an accurate representation of what “gamers” play:
  1. Hungry Shark World (Ubisoft)
  2. Hungry Shark Revolution (Ubisoft)
  3. FRAG Pro Shooter (OhBibi)
  4. Tiny Worlds: Idle Dragon (Old Skull Games)
  5. Diggy's Adventure (Pixel Federation)
  6. Port City (Pixel Federation)
  7. TrainStation 2 (Pixel Federation)
  8. Beatstar (Space Ape Games)
  9. TerraGenesis (Tilting Point)
  10. Monument Valley 2 (ustwo games)
  11. June's Journey (Wooga)
We know from the ESA's own Essential Facts series (which KoopaTV has reported on every year) that gamers who play primarily on smartphones differ quite a bit from gamers that primarily plan on PC or videogame consoles. Keep in mind that the survey methodology therefore excludes a major segment of hardcore gamers, the ones who spend a lot of money. (Though smartphone gacha game-playing whales also spend a lot of money and maybe that's what matters.)

As for the commitment to action, 75,936 people in the pre-Green Game Jam survey responded to the question, “Eating less meat helps save our forests! What will you do?” 12.4% said they'd go vegan, 30.6% said they'd eat 20% less meat, 26.5% said they'd plant trees, and 27.3% said “Already doing all I can”. They interpreted that result as 72.7% of gamers are “committing to action”. That means for the survey sent out after the Green Game Jam, 81.5% of gamers picked something besides that last option. To put exact numbers, 68,097 respondents answered the question, and 18.0% said they'd go vegan, 34.5% said they'd eat 20% less meat, 25.3% said they'd plant trees, and 18.5% said they're already doing all they can.

Wait, what about the 400,000 people? Well, you see, 200,364 gamers answered the first question on the pre-jam survey, while 189,230 people answered the first question on the post-jam survey. That means only 37.9% (75936/200364) of people actually answered that commitment question the first time, and 36.0% (68097/189230) answered the commitment question the second time. And that's rounding up! You should read that as 62.1% of gamers refused to answer about their commitment before the Green Game Jam, and then an even higher percentage of gamers (64%) refused to answer about their environmental commitments after being exposed to the environmental propaganda of the Green Game Jam. So... they went from 72.7% of gamers committing to 81.5% of gamers committing off the majority of polled gamers actually refusing to answer the question after they answered the other questions up to that point.

If the numbers in the preceding paragraphs scared you off, the bottom line is that the intellectually accurate representation of respondents “open to changing their environmental behaviours” went from 27.6% to 29.3%. That's a much weaker headline than 72.7% to 81.5%! (But, hey, it's still a higher percentage.)

Still, regardless of their survey being flawed (and the Playing for the Planet Alliance even acknowledges that it's flawed), they still see this as a gamer-endorsed mandate to push their environmental agendas.

Playing for the Planet 2022 annual report Horizon Forbidden West United Nations climate environmental agenda conspiracy
The United Nations isn't shy about their agenda on how they want to transform videogame experiences.

The United Nations already has “working groups” and “knowledge sharing” among many of the biggest names in videogame publishing and development on putting in more of these environmental initiatives to creep into the games you play. They're also excited that the survey asked about if gamers would be more likely to pay for games or DLC that were focused on “environmental content” and got responses indicating this would get more support (and purchases) than not.

According to their report, Sony Interactive Entertainment is the only company committing to “green activations outside of the Green Game Jam”. Personally, I see that as a good reason to continue to stay away from the PlayStation. They want to go above and beyond the others! Have fun with your weird environmental propaganda DLC to impress the United Nations.

Playing for the Planet Alliance 2022 annual impact report Sony Interactive Entertainment PlayStation commitment 2023 green activations game jam
Sony's row is the only one of every company listed with the “Developes green activations outside of the Green Game Jam” icon.
I believe that means Sony will be pushing direct environmental messages all year round in at least some of their games in 2023.
They define green activations as “an opportunity for gamers to either learn, share or act on such [environmental] themes in an authentic, fun and meaningful way.”

Ludwig isn't fond of a cabal of globalist forces sharing how to best psychologically manipulate the viewpoints and actions of their customers, even if you think that this is for a good cause. He actually likes energy efficiency (as long as it doesn't impair access to electricity when needed) and he very much likes eating less meat, but powerful game companies trying to check corporate social responsibility boxes with super-governmental bodies at the likely expense of game quality and immersion isn't a good deal for the gamer. Maybe this will remain as mostly a mobile player and PlayStation player problem. What do you think about this? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section.

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