Game Retailers: Game Packaging is Green

Game consoles may be full of noxious stuff, but game packaging is green, baby.

At least, that’s the word from the Entertainment Merchants Association, the trade group which represents hundreds of video game and DVD retailers.

In partnership with the Content Delivery and Storage Association, the EMA has just released the results of a study into what consumers do with game and DVD packaging. Conducted by the NPD Group, the research makes games seem environmentally friendly:

  • Rather than discarding video game and DVD packaging, consumers overwhelmingly store their video games and DVDs in their original cases
  • when consumers no longer want to keep a game or DVD, they rarely throw it away or recycle it
  • 45 % of DVD owners give the title to someone else, as will 24 % of game owners
  • 54% of game owners will trade it in or sell it; the trade/sell rate is 27 % for DVDs
  • 89% of DVD owners and 88 % of game owners store their DVDs and games in their original cases
  • only 6% of DVD owners and 5% of video game owners throw away or recycle the cases.

Of the results, EMA CEO Bo Andersen commented:

In packaged home entertainment, consumers view the packaging cases as part of the product and not something to be tossed. The cases provide product protection, allow easy title identification, and carry the artwork that is integral to the consumer’s association with the title.

GP: An interesting and obvious conclusion is that trading in used games is not only good for consumers, it’s good for the environment. Now, about that landfill full of E.T. cartridges

So, GP readers, what do you do with your old games?

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  1. zel says:

    I keep all my games, I still have my original Doom2 CD in jewel case. I’ve gotten rid of a few that weren’t all that great, but mostly I keep them all for nostalgia.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  2. Vake Xeacons says:

     I’m a collector. Plus, after that last five bucks I got for a direct trade in to Gamestop on a brand new game, I swore never to sell or trade again. I now keep everything, even games I no longer play, all lined up on the shelf. I lend them out to friends and family, but mostly they’re there to add to my library.

  3. nekusagi says:

    Interesting story…

    The funny thing is, with my DS games, as soon as I get one, after putting it in my DS to play it for the first time, I stick the case on my shelf. Which is standard procedure with video games, yes. but after I remove the game from my DS, it goes the same place all my other games go- in my little Animal Crossing zipper pouch full of DS games I carry with me everywhere. So I have a shelf full of empty DS game boxes next to my Game Cube boxes. I actually sorta like how the spines look stacked on top of each other.

  4. black manta says:

    I keep most of my old games.  Once in a while I’ll go through them and if I find one that’s a clunker, I’ll "retire" it or give it away.  I have a short stack of old games that I didn’t think were all that great in fact that are looking for a new home.

    For the most part, though, I’ll keep them.  And thanks to emulators, a lot of my favorite older games have gotten a second life.  DOSBox has let me play the old Wing Commander games among others.  And then there are ports like WinROTT for Rise of the Triad, JFDuke for Duke Nukem 3D and ZDoom for my old Doom engine-based games like Heretic and Strife.

    Also, some publishers have re-released more up to date versions of older games, like Steam did for the X-Com games.  Some have done them in compilations.  So when, for example, EA released Command & Conquer: The First Decade, I bought it.  Not only did it have the most up-to-date versions of these games and guaranteed to run on XP, but it saves space as well as you have several games now on one disc (though for reference, I still hang onto the original manuals).

    And like others, I still keep the older games in the original packaging they came in, including the ones that were published back in the days when they came in large cardboard boxes.  The way I see it, some people keep old record album covers for their art, and I keep the cardboard boxes around for kind of the same reason.

  5. Michael Chandra says:

    I moved nine months ago, put all my games, spare cds, etc in a box, still got to reorganize them. Before that we kept them in stacks and racks.

  6. Michael Chandra says:

    What am I doing wrong that most PC games I buy are in a normal rectangle cover with manual included?

  7. Aliasalpha says:

    I always keep the DVD/jewel cases that my games come in and also keep the manuals but I rarely keep the cardboard boxes, it’s normally only in cases where the discs come in those crappy paper sleeves (I’m looking at you Neverwinter Nights 2!). I’d love to be able to keep the boxes but as others have said, it’s a finite space issue.

  8. VideolandHero says:

    I prefer to keep my cases because I like showing them off on my bookshelves.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  9. AuntySocial says:

     I keep all of my game cases and most of my games.  The only games I get rid of are one’s I don’t like, and even some of those I still have (FFXII to name one, I would never recoup even half of what I spent on it).  Sometimes important information are in those (product code needed for instillation.)


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  10. insanejedi says:

    I think this data mostly apply to console gamers, since one of my biggest gripes about PC gaming is also why it’s as good as it is. The freedom and the lack of restrictions on games. With lack of restrictions, developers are freely able to release their game with no royalties or anything like that so you get these fantastic indie games that come out. The problem with that, is that when it comes to retail, there is no restrictions on what kind of "system requirements" or packaging the game comes on. The manual is sometimes a page or there isin’t one even at all requiring you to access the PDF from the game disk. Games come in flimsy paper packages that are absolutly a nightmare when you are trying to organize games. Games also come in very delicate paper cardboard boxes that overtime will degrade and produce white rips and markings all over, even Stardock gets this wrong. Game boxes arn’t also semetrical all the time, making it look weired and distorted on your shelf with boxes thicker than others or higher than others. Crystal Cases are also not the most durable thing in the world, and finding triple or quad CD holders arn’t the easiest thing to come by.

    In contrast, console games look very nice and are really neatly organized as the boxes are all symetrical (with the exception of Viva Pinata and fallout 3), they all contain detailed manuals, the boxes have specific placement and listed features (such as resolution) and the console heading on the top is a nice looking, and most of them follow the game box colour (with exception to platnum hits and that sort of stuff).

  11. JustChris says:

    I have almost all of my game cases and boxes and the few times I don’t are unfortunate cases of losing them/my brother throwing them away. (GBA cardboard boxes appear to be more expendable than DVD cases)

    About the only discs I really throw into the trash are those AOL discs. Though the cases are still good for storing any loose CDs I have.

  12. Hankage says:

    Why the hell would anyone throw away the cases? I mean,okay, some DVD have really cheap cardboard cases and I can see why in a situation like that, but why otherwise?

  13. GoodRobotUs says:

    I used to keep the packaging, but after a while, it became a space issue, so I only keep the packaging for a certain amount of time.

    Also, what with the advent of Steam etc, I don’t actually have as much packaging as I used to.

  14. Solipsis says:

    I love game cases. I get a really obnoxious sense of smugness when someone wanders over to my DVD rack looking for a chick flick and finds Shadow Hearts or Overlord instead. Not what people expect in a girl’s apartment…

    Anyway, I never get rid of any games, I can only think of maybe three or four that I’ve traded in, ever. I replay everything, and I’m kind of a packrat, so I keep as much original packaging as possible.

  15. deuxhero says:

    indeed, keeping my games in the original box makes them much easier to locate, and I have kept most of my game cases (except ones that had cardboard packageing)

  16. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    I have to say I find this kind of hard to believe, considering how every GameStop I go into seems to have a crapload of generically marked cases with no manuals.  GameBoy Advance carts in particular are practically impossible to find boxed.

  17. DeepThorn says:

    You want to know what is even better?  Allowing consumers to burn their games from their computers.  Then instead of shipping packaging  and so on, you only have to transfer the data over the internet, therefore saving the environment in a crap load of ways, but then retailers don’t get their cut…  which should actually make the games cheaper, but it wont.

    I have all of my DVD and game cases for the most part, but keep them stored in a CD case that holds far more things.  It is easier to grab it and look through it than a closet of cases.  It makes it easier for transport…  but to sell it later I want the case, and once I get a house I will prolly have a walk in closet to store all of it…  that will be sweet.

  18. Cerabret100 says:

    Keep them…i’m to paranoid that one day i’m going to get an insatiable craving to play something and find out i traded it in.

    I play all my games at one point after initial beatings.  I still pull out the old N64 whenever i want to play games on it (though with the GC versions of Ocarina of Time and xbox Conker, that pretty much means RE2…but one day i might want to replay Kirby 64…really…i swear i will).

    The only games i’ve ever traded in were when it’s console broke down (gamecube and original gameboy games)

  19. Brokenscope says:

    I have a jewelcase, a box, and some type of manual with every game I own.


    I also have several games with huge spiral bound manuals.

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