Fate of the World: The Video Game That Lets You Solve Global Warming Fate of the World: The Video Game That Lets You Solve Global Warming

Fate of the World: The Video Game That Lets You Solve Global Warming

by Ben Jervey

March 2, 2011

Last fall I wrote about Fate of the World, a new video game in development at the time that asked players to figure out how to avoid the worst fates of climate change and secure a livable future for our planet's citizens.

The company behind the game, Red Redemption (not to be confused with the wildly popular Rockstar game Red Dead Redemption) describes it as such:

Fate of the World is a dramatic global strategy game that puts all our futures in your hands. The game features a dramatic set of scenarios based on the latest science covering the next 200 years. You must manage a balancing act of protecting the Earth's resources and climate versus the needs of an ever-growing world population, who are demanding ever more food, power, and living space. Will you help the whole planet or will you be an agent of destruction?

Last time I wrote about the game, I said I wouldn't be playing it. ("Not because I'm too good or too cool for them or because I think they rot brains and cause diabetes or anything like that. But rather because I know from limited experience as a child obsessively playing Kings Quest, SimCity, and Shadow President that if I were to dip my toes into the waters of Civilization or Spore or any of these other awesome simulation games, I would immediately be threatening my sleep, health, sanity, and relationship.) But now I'm rethinking. When else will have have the chance to have a professional excuse to play video games? I'll have a thorough review if and when I do.

Also, this game seems like an evolution—or at least branch—of simulation gaming "for good," or how video games could actually make the world a better place. Jane McGonigal gave a pretty convincing, if somewhat controversial, TED talk about exactly that last year, which is well worth watching in the context of Fate of the World.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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Fate of the World: The Video Game That Lets You Solve Global Warming