From One Edge to the Other : Exploring Gaming's Rising Presence on the Network

Marsden, Matthew and Hazas, Mike and Broadbent, Matthew (2020) From One Edge to the Other : Exploring Gaming's Rising Presence on the Network. In: ICT4S2020 : Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability. ACM, 247–254. ISBN 9781450375955

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Audio and video streaming and on-demand services have dramatically changed how, and how much, media is consumed. Streaming generally allows a much larger selection of content, and arguably greater convenience. Gaming is the latest medium to place delivery of content into the cloud, via services such as Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce NOW. Just as with video streaming, this new ease comes with a hidden cost from the infrastructure used to deliver it, including the hardware cost, engineering cost and the energy to power the data centres and communications networks. Although gaming is currently only 7% of global network demand, with more than 95% of that being made up of downloading content, the possibility of streamed games could rapidly change this network footprint. In turn, this affects the yearly growth of energy impact from IT services. We explore possible futures where growth of these services continues, and we illustrate the implications a decade from now with three possible future scenarios for shifts of gaming practices. Our analyses show that game streaming will cause significant increases in the energy and carbon footprint of games.

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24 Nov 2020 16:05
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16 Jul 2024 04:59