Why conservatives are accusing the Xbox of being ‘awake’



Stepping over, gas heaters. There’s a new household item that’s been thrust into the culture war over climate change.

Microsoft, the tech giant behind the video game console, said earlier this month it will update Xboxes to run more efficiently, save users money on their electric bills and reduce the gaming industry’s carbon emissions.

But now conservative commentators and politicians are lashing out at Xbox, calling the brand “wake up” for being too concerned about the planet.

“It’s crazy what they do,” complained Fox News host Jimmy Failla a recent fragment. “They’re trying to recruit your kids into climate politics at a younger age.”

The Xbox is the latest product to join a long list — which includes burgers, cars and, most recently, stoves — of everyday items targeted by conservatives who argue efforts to curb carbon emissions are threatening Americans’ way of life .

It follows a glowing debate over gas stoves that sparked this month after a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said he hadn’t ruled out banning or regulating the device due to the health risk of toxic fumes. The agency later backtracked on the comments following vocal Republican criticism.

“Now the awakened brigade is after video games” said the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group. And Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) joked on Twitter this week: “First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they’re hunting your Xbox.”

So what really happens to my Xbox?

On Jan. 11, Xbox said in a blog post that it is rolling out a number of updates to improve the power efficiency of existing consoles, in an effort to meet Microsoft’s corporate goal of going “carbon negative” by the end of the decade.

For example, the company said it will schedule updates to games, apps and other software, if possible, during the night when renewable sources generate a greater share of electricity on the local grid.

And Xbox will automatically update certain older consoles to a power-saving mode designed to reduce electricity consumption when playtime is over. That mode is already the default on newer models.

The change comes at a small price for gamers: It takes about 15 seconds to boot an Xbox into power-saving mode compared to a “sleep” option from which the machine can be instantly awakened, according to the tech publication. The Verge.

Microsoft declined to comment after the Jan. 11 blog post.

Conservative website the Blaze accused Microsoft of trying to “force gamers to cut power to fight climate change”. But the company stressed that users can switch back if they wish.

“You can adjust your settings at any time and choose what works best for you,” wrote Blaine Hauglie, technical program manager for Xbox.

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