Gamer 2.0 has a really interesting look at whether video game playing, our favorite hobby, has any effect on the environment and the hubbub over Global Warming. Some snippets:
"Unfortunately, due to the necessity of the technology that enables games to exist as they do today, the power that fuels our hobby must also be sacrificial. So what price does the environment pay for games with the visual verbosity of something like Gears of War 2?
The surprise comes when we examine the kind of power that it takes to keep information in stasis. Virtual communities and MMOs represent massive humming engines that never sleep. Julian Bleecker of Near Future Laboratory calculated that the average Second Life avatar eats up 1,248 kilowatt hours of electricity per year (1,095 kWh on your PC, 153 kWh server side). When Bleecker calculated the appropriate carbon dioxide emissions that 1,248 kWh of electricity would give off, it came out to 1,685 pounds per avatar per year, or the equivalent of driving 1,800 miles in a BMW 750Li, according to Wired Magazine.
By contrast and by our calculations, you'd probably have to play that same Xbox 360 for five hours just to produce a pound of CO2 emissions, and there are barely enough hours in the day in order to reach the same benchmark as that Second Life avatar plotted through the course of a year."