I’ve been diving into Fortnite recently and enjoying every minute, even though I’m not typically one for Battle Royale style games. I have found myself thinking during my first few (perilous) hours that this incredibly detailed and vibrant island should be powered by renewable energy. Here are my main reasons why:
1) The Battle Bus
When it comes to carbon emissions, this may be the biggest culprit on/above the island. I didn’t find a lot of information regarding hot air balloon flights and carbon emissions but nevertheless, I gave it a shot.
Let’s start with the table:
Given what I’ve learned about Natural Gas/Propane emissions, I believe that the following estimates stand to reason.
An average one hour balloon flight over Melbourne uses approximately 180-200 litres of propane, which burns to form water and carbon dioxide; in addition to the fuel used by the balloon’s ground retrieval crew. We have estimated that the activity to launch and retrieve one hot air balloon uses the equivalent of 378.1 kilograms of greenhouse gas.
That leads to another point about the Battle Bus. While the trip over the island is short in distance, the weight of the bus carrying 100 people would be extremely heavy! Regardless, I think a very conservative estimate would be around to 1,000 pounds of CO2. If anyone else wants to help me get a closer number and has real math skills, I could use it!
2) The Power Grid
I found it fascinating that developers at Epic Games added in a fully realized power grid, complete with transmission towers. It does beg the question though: What’s powering the island? One comparison to a real world scenario could be Hawaii.
As of 2016, just over 26% of the State’s power came from renewable sources.
Hawaii is one of the largest self producers and consumers of renewable energy in the US. This is mostly due to the high cost of fossil fuel powered energy due to shipping. I believe that an island with mountainous topography, beautiful waterfalls and sunny days would certainly use wind, hydro and solar to provide energy for the inhabitants.
Also, there are some pretty awesome examples of real transmission towers to pick from!
3) The Storm
An unstoppable torrent of lightning and misery slowly engulfs what once was habitable land. The blue curtain closing and stranding you outside of safety is arguably your biggest enemy. Many would point to other players but the storm location can end your match just as quickly as sniper who knows how to calculate bullet drop.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh recently concluded that lightning strikes could actually decrease due to climate change. That being said, we know that storms and the destruction they leave behind only intensify as our planet heats up. One of the best examples is Guam, where dying coral erodes their natural barriers to tropical storms.
Fortnite is an absolutely fantastic game with unique building mechanics and tight third person shooter action! While my passion for renewable energy seeps into most aspects of my life, it’s always gaming that strikes me as the best way to get the younger generation involved. I view art as the best way to convey the importance of being good stewards for our planet and games like Fortnite have the opportunity to leave an indelible mark on their audiences.