Video Game Pollution

Greenpeace on Video Games?

PS3’s, Microsoft X-Box 360’s, and Nintendo Wii’s , although abused by some, are the source of harmless entertainment for millions of people worldwide. Greenpeace, however, argues otherwise. On their website, Greenpeace posted and article that exposes Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo for using harmful substances in the production of their popular game consoles.

Greenpeace’s report, Playing Dirty, claims polyvinyl chloride (PVC), phthalates, beryllium, and bromine are found in all three game consoles. Beryllium, according to Greenpeace, is particularly nasty because it “does not break down easily and builds up in the environment” and “long term exposure can lead to impaired learning and memory functions” and can “interfere with thyroid and estrogen hormone systems and exposure in the womb has been linked to behavioral problems.” Phthalates, Greenpeace claims, are just as bad, inhibiting “sexual development in mammals: including humans and, especially, males.”

Though the report gives sound evidence and information about the materials found inside the internal electronic components of the game consoles, the report gives no information about how the materials could be transmitted to children and/or adults playing video games, and whether or not the video game systems present an actual risk of harming users. No mention is made about the how and if it’s even possible to come in contact with the chemicals (like, for example, if you were to take apart your Playstation and lick its bromide-tainted circuit board…what? You never tried it?).

Its hard to say what Greenpeace is trying to achieve with this article/study. Are they trying to save people from being poisoned by video game systems or developing an online gaming strategy? If they believe eating game consoles is a common practice, they may really be trying save lives….

Perhaps, the more realistic conclusion is that Greenpeace is just trying to ruffle people’s feathers—using the game systems’ popularity to gain publicity for their organization and foster support for their noble causes. For Greenpeace, this tactic could backfire and make the public believe that the organization seeks to merely stir up controversy, rather than make a real difference in the world. Perhaps they should stick with the battles that matter—the fights that everyone can get behind, like saving endangered animals, fighting pollution, and curbing global warming.

Anyway, I’m off now to play poker at my favorite online casino. Take that Greenpeace.

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