After M&Ms dropped their ads amid right-wing claims that chocolate cartoon characters weren’t attractive enough, Fox News personalities identified a new target in the culture wars: the Xbox.
Xbox announced this week that its new consoles will include a default setting to regulate the power consumption of video game systems to be “carbon conscious” to reduce unnecessary emissions.
“Xbox is working to reduce our environmental footprint to help us meet Microsoft’s goal of being a carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste company by 2030 by rethinking how we design, we build, distribute and use our products,” read parent company Microsoft and Xbox Wire.
Given the state of the climate crisis, the announcement seemed like a positive step to many. He received a much cooler reception on Fox News.
“We understand what it is,” Fox News host Jimmy Failla said Tuesday morning. “It’s not that it will actually offset the emissions, that’s fine – the level of reduction is infinitesimal. But they are trying to recruit your children into climate policy at an earlier age: make them climate conscious now.”
The frustration with Microsoft and Xbox echoes age-old complaints from the right that big corporations have invested in indoctrinating consumers into liberal cultural policies on gender, race and climate.
It wasn’t just Fox News hosts who had an issue with Xbox News. A number of conservative commentators and even elected officials such as Sen Ted Cruz of Texas also criticized the news, with Mr. Cruz tweeting: “First gas stoves, then coffee, now they’re hunting your Xbox.”
The outrage left many Twitter users stunned.
One Twitter user, Dave Thibault, tweeted: “Apparently game consoles with energy-saving modes are being considered part of ‘awake climate policy child recruitment? Because how else are we supposed to make people feel bad about saving money on their electricity bills?”
Another, Michael Boccher, noted that the power-saving feature had been an option on Xbox consoles for years, even if it wasn’t the default setting. “It’s madness. And I’m a fan of Fox News. This feature has been around for years and is available on basically every major system, not just Xbox. come on man.
The automatic carbon update will not significantly alter the gaming experience of Xbox users.
“This one-time power settings update will reduce power consumption when the console is turned off and will not affect performance, gameplay, or the console’s ability to receive nightly system, game, or application updates,” reads the press release.
The release noted that the Xbox One will have a slower boot time with the power saving setting selected – although it appears that users can manually switch the console out of power saving mode if they so choose.