Getting Green In Game

For video games, there is a real-world concern that is often overlooked: the environment. In all these virtual worlds being created, where are the compact fluorescents and hybrid cars? Is global warming really only an analog concern, with digital denizens not to be bothered?

Sure, resource management is a focus for many strategy games, and Second Life has had a few environmentally savvy going-ons, but beyond that? Well, in what may be a first, an electric car is coming to a racing game. The Telsa Roadster, an electric sports car made by Telsa Motors and slated for 2008, is coming to "Project Gotham Racing 4."

There are some interesting questions about this, such as how a relatively silent car is going to be represented in a game acoustically filled with the roars of Ferraris and other gas-guzzling sports cars. It will also be interesting to see what sort of impact this placement will have on sales of the real-world car, seeing as it will be digitally drivable almost a year before being physically so. What I want to know is if there will be Xbox Live achievements along the lines of "Environmentalist" or "Green Racer" (doubtful, but amusing to ponder).

As real-world products and companies increasingly reflect environmental awareness, it's going to be interesting to watch new virtual worlds incorporate their digital counterparts. At long last, gamers will be able to play while keeping their environmental conscience clean, and their virtual world green.

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