Gamers Control the Fate of the World

The year is 2020. Climate change has been ignored, resources are running low, and the world is faced with environmental and financial crisis. Can you solve the world’s problems?

This is the challenge posed not to world leaders, but to video gamers who log onto Fate of the World, a new online game. Confronted with a global climate crisis, players must respond in a simulated environment based as closely as possible on real-world problems and options. Like video games that teach finance or educate about the environment, Fate of the World aims to bring home the dangers of brewing climate change by allowing individuals to virtually experience them and to envision future challenges.

Fate of the World bills itself as the sequel to the BBC Climate Challenge, which was played by more than a million people and won the Best European Green IT award in 2008, among others. Created by techies at a British company called Red Redemption, founders have partnered with Oxfam, Tck, Tck, Tck, and TakingITGlobal.

The concept is simple: Players lead the multinational Global Environmental Organization and confront dwindling food and energy resources, tense international situations, and complex political agendas—along with a spiraling population problem. They are given a variety of strategies to save the world, ranging from the diplomatic to the armed and dangerous. Options include geoengineering, cap and trade, social change, technological breakthroughs, alternative power, space navigation, and clandestine foreign operations. This game is the latest in a number of online experiments that have both entertainment value and social responsibility at heart. The inventors say they aren’t pushing an agenda, other than raising awareness. Sounds like an important way to have fun.