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Sustainable gaming: Solar powered Game Boy developed by university researchers

The Engage works without a battery, functioning intermittently but can be powered up again easily after a one second shut down, either by the solar panels or pressing on the device’s buttons. (NorthwesternU)
The Engage works without a battery, functioning intermittently but can be powered up again easily after a one second shut down, either by the solar panels or pressing on the device’s buttons. (NorthwesternU)
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11 Sep 2020 02:09:04 GMT9
11 Sep 2020 02:09:04 GMT9

Shams El -Mutwalli Dubai

A solar powered Game Boy called the Engage has recently been revealed, the project was led by researchers from Northwestern University and the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

“When you press a button, the device converts that energy into something that powers your gaming” said researcher and assistant professor, Josiah Hester.

Although this research is still in the experimental phase, the Engage intends to help make sustainable gaming possible in the long run.

The Engage works without a battery, functioning intermittently but can be powered up again easily after a one second shut down, either by the solar panels or pressing on the device’s buttons.  

Even despite frequent shut downs, the console creates checkpoints allowing data to be backed up along the way.

The project will be presented at the UbiComp 2020 on September 15.

This year the conference will be held virtually between the 12th to the 17th of September, and will bring together computing and technology related researchers, and developers giving them a platform to discuss their results.

Researcher, Przemyslaw Pawelczak from Delft University of Technology assured in a statement that while basic, the  platform intends to prove that it is possible to “make a sustainable gaming system that brings fun and joy to the user.”

The Engage is part of a larger backdrop as sustainable gaming is acquiring growing recognition.

Many game makers including Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Microsoft, began addressing environmental issue back in 2019, according to the UN environment programme. 

They did so in alignment with the UN’s Playing for the Planet Alliance. 

“In joining the Alliance, members have made commitments ranging from integrating green activations in games, reducing their emissions and supporting the global environmental agenda through initiatives ranging from planting millions of trees to reducing plastic in their products” the website states.

Hester stressed that aside from environmental sustainability, the Engage and its system also ensures reliability as the devices can still operate in situations where a battery may fall short. 

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