Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Based On Electricity Use, A Second Life Avatar Uses As Much Energy As A Brazilian

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
 
hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:48 PM
Original message
Based On Electricity Use, A Second Life Avatar Uses As Much Energy As A Brazilian
EDIT

The virtual world of Second Life, which hit one million residents back in October, is one of the most popular online games of its kind. To even call it a game is perhaps inaccurate. It's a full-fledged virtual world, complete with crime, sex, commodities, and real-world advertising. (Don't miss BusinessWeek's journey into Second Life or its great "Old Fogey's Guide to the Online Universe.") It goes way beyond the traditional online games of old: These days, politicians like former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner hold town meetings and musicians use music streaming to stage "live" concerts in Second Life in order to be heard.

So, it's fascinating to see blogger Nick Carr (also a former exec editor at Harvard Business Review) calculate whether avatars consume more energy than their human counterparts. He found that the thousands of avatars "living" in Second Life at any given moment, given the servers and computers needed to run the virtual world, use about the same amount of electricity as a comparable number of real-life Brazilians. So, here's my question: Has anyone done any research on whether avatars are much more wasteful than their human counterparts? Say, in terms of energy: Do avatars not bother to turn off the lights?

EDIT

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/2544

EDIT

If there are on average between 10,000 and 15,000 avatars "living" in Second Life at any point, that means the world has a population of about 12,500. Supporting those 12,500 avatars requires 4,000 servers as well as the 12,500 PCs the avatars' physical alter egos are using. Conservatively, a PC consumes 120 watts and a server consumes 200 watts. Throw in another 50 watts per server for data-center air conditioning. So, on a daily basis, overall Second Life power consumption equals:

(4,000 x 250 x 24) + (12,500 x 120 x 24) = 60,000,000 watt-hours or 60,000 kilowatt-hours

Per capita, that's:

60,000 / 12,500 = 4.8 kWh

Which, annualized, gives us 1,752 kWh. So an avatar consumes 1,752 kWh per year. By comparison, the average human, on a worldwide basis, consumes 2,436 kWh per year. So there you have it: an avatar consumes a bit less energy than a real person, though they're in the same ballpark.

Now, if we limit the comparison to developed countries, where per-capita energy consumption is 7,702 kWh a year, the avatars appear considerably less energy hungry than the humans. But if we look at developing countries, where per-capita consumption is 1,015 kWh, we find that avatars burn through considerably more electricity than people do.

More narrowly still, the average citizen of Brazil consumes 1,884 kWh, which, given the fact that my avatar estimate was rough and conservative, means that your average Second Life avatar consumes about as much electricity as your average Brazilian.

Which means, in turn, that avatars aren't quite as intangible as they seem. They don't have bodies, but they do leave footprints.

EDIT

http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/12/avatars_consu...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. A Brazilian what?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Bah-dah-BOOM!!
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I know. It sounds like a lot, but it's only a little more than a gazillion. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. This amount of energy represents more 10% of the solar electricity produced in the US.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epmxlfile1...

The other 90% of the solar electricity generated in the US is devoted to keeping up web-sites that tell us how solar energy will save us from climate change disaster all by itself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. 4000 servers are dedicated to Second Life?
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 01:52 PM by lumberjack_jeff
Isn't a bit like saying that my groceries for this month cost $500 to transport home?

It's an interesting topic - the energy consumed to provide internet services but it's a little misleading.

On the other hand, it's good to know that the energy consumption of all those servers, air conditioners and workstations have been attributed to Second Life so we at DU can operate with a clear conscience.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
A Simple Game Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I also found it hard to believe that 4000 servers were dedicated
to one game.

4000 servers dedicated to 12400 PCs, response time must be fantastic. I may have to check out this Second Life myself.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Might be more. A lot more.
From a while back:
http://news.com.com/Second+Life+Dont+worry,+we+can+scal...

The bet was certainly ambitious. After all, "WoW," as fans call it, currently has more than 6.5 million users. "Second Life" has 240,000 registered users. But whether Linden Lab's virtual world can catch "WoW" isn't the most pressing question about the virtual world's future for some people familiar with its computer network.
...
"Second Life" currently runs on 2,579 servers that use the dual-core Opteron chip produced by AMD. Each server is responsible for an individual "sim," or 16 acres of virtual "Second Life" land. At peak usage that means that each server is handling about three users.


More recently: http://news.com.com/2061-10797_3-6143909.html?part=rss&...

No one knows how many Second Life users there are. Estimates range from 200,000 to 600,000, and Linden Lab, the virtual world's publisher, posts regular updates about how many users have logged in within the last 60 days. As of Thursday, that number was 809,960.

Anyone fancy taking a guess?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
novus Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Now we know how much a brazillion is. (nt)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
9. Sexing up the virtual world of Second Life
no wonder they use so much electricity...
http://kleduc.wordpress.com/2006/12/28/sexing-up-the-vi...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 23rd 2014, 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC