Just recently, Wazdan announced its first step towards becoming a greener company. No, it is not changing its logo, but making an effort to make eco-friendly online casino games. Are you feeling puzzled and confused? You are not the only one.
We live in a world of abundance, and at the same time, we are making that same world look like a junkyard. But what do online slots have to do with it? Is this greenwashing at its finest? It could be, even if unintentionally.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Avoid fast fashion. Buy second-hand. Don’t buy, borrow. Unless you live under the rock, you have been bombarded by messages about how we must protect our planet (and bees!) by all means possible. Although it is impossible to deny that ecology and keeping the Earth, well, livable, are of utmost importance, it is also noticeable that many companies use the same narrative for their financial gain.
I am not saying Wazdan is one of them, but I found the press release about the Extreme Light games more hyped up than it should be. Long story short, the company will soon release 10 top-performing slots in a new, lighter version. The Extreme Light slot machines will be just as impressive but will put your device under less pressure. Technically, they should prevent you from having to switch your phone every few years because the battery is becoming unreliable.
In theory, the idea sounds great. You get to play the game that looks and feels, and actually is the real thing, but helps you preserve energy on many levels. The main problem is, the player gets to have the final say.
Frankly, I believe the average casino player does care for nature. Even so, it is a bit unfair to implement such a novelty and proclaim it is up to players to do the right thing. Just like in the case of tethered caps on plastic bottles, the entire ordeal seems like a distraction from more relevant issues. There are bigger concerns within the industry (both food and casino), than those you, me, and all other consumers can solve with our behavior. You have to smack the beast by the head, not by the tentacles!
First, it remains unclear how the new feature will be introduced on gaming platforms. Will all casinos feature green games or only a handful of those? Another thing I would like to know is whether any study has proven that this type of game really contributes to the consumer’s behavior. On paper, it all sounds splendid, yet I like to look at the numbers while drinking iced coffee with my metal straw.
Another big issue no one cares to address, and I am not talking just about Wazdan here, is servers. Servers, data centers, and the infrastructure related to them are responsible for around 1% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the technology they rely on is disposal, non-biodegradable, and jam-packed with heavy metals and toxic substances that end up in the ground.
If online gaming studios are anything like my average workplaces from the times long ago, I can guarantee that air conditioning is probably one of the biggest causes of unrest among employers. The printer is working overtime because there is always that one person who “likes to see things on paper”. And do I even have to mention the merch and promo materials that are handed out at conferences that end up in the trash on the way out? Yeah, there is still a lot of improvement without putting pressure on the end user.
Online suppliers and casinos should take a hint from their land-based counterparts. Even though brick-and-mortar casinos make such changes more tangible, I think they would give a whole different perspective to efforts such as “light games”.
For example, Melco Resorts and Entertainment issued a total ban on single-use plastic for both guests and employees. It has a 10-year plan to make the resort more green and sustainable. The Venetian Macao is working towards reducing food waste and light pollution. The Mandalay Bay Resorts kitchens work with local ingredients and are a patron of Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The venue adjusts the central air conditioning and heating with a strict schedule to optimize energy consumption. I think their employees don’t fight over the AC remote!
Now, imagine the press release was not only about games players have to pick to become green but about the combined efforts the studio puts into being more eco-friendly. It would win my heart, that’s for sure!
This is not my rant against Wazdan but against greenwashing and blame transfer. We can’t expect players to carry the entire load of the iGaming industry becoming more ecologically aware. Companies must do their share too! Otherwise, the entire point is missed and there will be no progress.
It is hard to believe Wazdan is the only one with this kind of initiative. It might be the first one, but other companies will very likely take the cue and follow. In the end, it is in everyone’s interest to keep the engine running. Both the iGaming industry’s and planet Earth’s.
I don’t mind lighter games with great performances and I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the future. However, I would also love to see the receipts of other things being done right. Am I demanding? Of course I am. If I can carry my tote and thermos, and buy second-hand, the least thing companies can do is put in some extra effort as well.
This article delivers the thoughts and opinions of the author, and it doesn't represent the stance of GoodLuckMate.