California is not only our most populous state, it’s also our goofiest. As a consequence of an energy bill passed in 2017, the state has banned the sale of high end gaming computers. Not to be outdone Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have issued the same ukase. “The state had recently published a paper looking into the power efficiency of computer gaming. They claim in their findings is that computer gaming in California consumed 4.1 terawatt hours in 2016, costing roughly $700 million USD in energy bills. They list consoles with taking a bulk of the emissions at 66%, and desktop computers at 31%. In spite of this, consoles are seemingly exempt from the bill.” (Quotation from above link.)
$700 million in electrical usage (actually only a third) in California terms is a spark. While banning computers, the state is mandating that all new vehicles be electric by 2035. They are also closing their only remaining atomic energy plant. All this mishegoss from a state that can’t keep the lights on all the time. Where will the power need to run 15 million vehicles come from? No need to worry, the legislature will pass a bill mandating it be provided.
Doubtless there are also businesses that need powerful computers that may be swept up in this ban; gamers will not be the only users affected by the prohibition. Thus, there will be a market that is illegal. Where there is a market there will be a supply irrespective of the law.
So where will all these illicit computers able to run GTA V and mine bitcoin come from? The southern border, obviously. If we can’t keep fentanyl and cocaine from crossing the border, no way Alienware and Digital Storm computers won’t be smuggled into California. The cartels are gleefully seeing new profit opportunities. They’ll just need more muscular mules. They are doubtless telling their US affiliates to lobby more state governments to emulate California’s computer law. The more bans the more profit.
Who knows there could be a medical and social benefit from the ban. The cartels might find computer smuggling so lucrative that they abandon fentanyl and cocaine in favor of electronics. I can envision a guy in a trench coat on a dark street approaching a teenager and whispering, “Hey kid you wanna buy a Dell Alienware Aurora R10 Gaming Desktop, AMD Ryzen 9 3900, 32GB Dual Channel HyperX Fury DDR4 XMP, 1TB SSD, AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6, Lunar Light? You want more than one? Get some for your friends. I have the best price. I also have components if you want.”
As always California leads the way.