Any gamers out there? Over the past decade, e-sports and online gaming have become the new trend. Especially, when COVID hit the world, people found themselves sitting in front of the screen all day, either surfing the net or connecting with family and friends or finding new ways to keep them busy during the day. The time people spent gaming reached double digits in all countries in 2020. However, the toll this industry takes on the environment is large. There’s the obvious electronic waste and immense electricity consumption that comes with producing and launching a game. Technology has advanced to great lengths especially in the video gaming industry and this has been proven by the introduction of virtual reality (VR) to public – one of the best ways to promote sustainable habits amongst adults.
Till now, there is no direct connection between sustainability and VR, several studies and research have shown that users demonstrate a larger relation with the environment while using this technology. A sense of personal and environmental awareness is generated through VR as it brings forth a stimulated environment created by the software. For instance, the African American community in Baltimore were directed virtually to watch their homes flood as they face higher risks of the calamity due to rise in water levels and climate change. This experience helped them prepare beforehand for a possible upcoming crisis and be more supportive towards climate resilience projects around them. Scientists have also used virtual reality to let users experience the effects of climate change, not only on the world, but even the lifestyles of individuals.
Virtual reality has also been used by designers, clients, and stakeholders for planning sustainable designs and projects for buildings and campuses. From picking eco-friendly materials to trying to reduce the carbon footprint, contractors are now able to make choices that would affect the atmosphere in a positive manner. Companies have now started making more approachable and affordable VR products that can reach a wider audience to ensure that more sustainable habits are promoted.
Virtualware is a company that tried to incorporate the VR technology in different businesses and aspects of life. For the past 16 years, this company has made several innovations in this field and has now developed a strategic plan to connect VR with sustainability – the 2 main pillars of focus. VIROO is an innovation tool developed by this company with the agenda of making it a technological standard that is used across all multinational companies and schools. This approach democratizes VR technology by making it more innovative and sustainable.
To be honest, I did not have a complete understanding of how VR works and what the big craze about this innovation was, before I sat to write this. However, now I see it! It’s the best solution to all our environmental problems. From visiting new places to trying out new clothes and connecting with family to building societies, this tool just helps reduce the carbon footprint extremely easily. I am heading to buy myself a VR set right now, what about you? Can you think of any other ways this technology can be more environment-friendly?