After getting M&Ms to drop their spokescandies amid right-wing claims that the cartoon chocolate characters weren’t attractive enough, Fox News personalities have identified a new target in the culture wars: Xbox.
Xbox announced this week that its new consoles will include a default setting to regulates the video game systems’ power usage to make them “carbon aware” in an effort to decrease unnecessary emissions.
“Xbox is working to reduce our environmental impact to help us reach Microsoft’s goal of being a carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste company by 2030 by rethinking how we design, build, distribute, and use our products,” a press release from parent company Microsoft and Xbox Wire read.
Given the state of the climate crisis, the announcement struck many as a positive step. At Fox News, it received a far chillier reception.
“We understand what this is,” Fox News host Jimmy Failla said on Tuesday morning. “It’s not that it’s actually going to offset emissions, okay — the level of reduction is infinitesimal. But they’re trying to recruit your kids into climate politics at an earlier age: make them climate conscious now.”
The frustration with Microsoft and Xbox echoes longstanding complaints on the right that major corporations have become invested in indoctrinating consumers into liberal cultural politics around gender, race and the climate.
It wasn’t just Fox News hosts who took issue with the Xbox news. A range of conservative commentators and even elected officials like Sen Ted Cruz of Texas also slammed the news, with Mr Cruz tweeting “First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they’re gunning for your Xbox.”
The outrage left a number of Twitter users bemused.
One Twitter user, Dave Thibault, tweeted: “Apparently game consoles having Power-saving modes is considered part of the “woke agenda to recruit children into climate politics?” Because how else are we going to make people feel bad about saving money on their electricity bill?”
Another, Michael Boccher, noted that the power saving feature has been an option on Xbox consoles for years, even if it has not been the default setting. “This is insane. And I’m a fan of Fox News. This feature has been here for years and is on basically every major system, not just Xbox. Come on man.”
Xbox users’ gaming experience will not be significantly altered by the automatic carbon aware update.
“This one-time update to your power settings will reduce your power consumption while your console is off, and will not affect performance, gameplay, or your console’s ability to receive overnight updates to system, games or apps,” the news release read.
The release did note that the Xbox One will experience a slower boot time with the energy saving setting selected — though it appears that users can manually switch their console out of energy-saving mode if they so choose.