Mario is killing the planet with his big giant carbon footprint, say scientists

Did you think that the only thing Mario was killing was a goomba or two? Think again.

Brand new research revealed by a new study this week suggests that the carbon footprint of popular Super Mario games over the past year is way more impactful than you might have thought.

New research shows that the CO2 produced by playing best-selling games Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Odyssey exceeds a staggering 475 tonnes.

The study, named Console Carbon Footprint, also looks at the CO2 emissions for every console released to date, following the news that 21 gaming companies have pledged to reduce their collective CO2 emissions by more than 30 million tonnes by 2030.

It also delves into the environmental impact of the materials used to create boxed games vs digital downloads.

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  • Extrapolating that data, and knowing that over 164 million adults in the US playing video games and players spending an average of 7.1 hours (seven hours, seven minutes) per week on games consoles, video game CO2 emissions could reach a staggering 29 million kg, or 29,110 tonnes each week.

    Things are better now than they have been, though.

    The research also found that the most polluting consoles released to date are the PS3 original with a carbon footprint of 0.054kg per hour, followed by the Xbox 360 with 0.051kg.

    Current-gen machines fare slightly better – and next-gen machines are committed to being particularly eco-friendly – but Microsoft's current Xbox One X averages at about 0.035kg of CO2 released every hour.

    With 21 gaming companies having pledged to reduce their collective CO2 footprint by more than 30 million tonnes by 2030, it’s crucial that major console companies continue to prioritise sustainable power usage and quick download times moving forward.

    Here's hoping the next generation of video games consoles can mitigate some of the damage gaming is doing to the environment.

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