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Saving the world from global warming, digitally

by Louise Murray 17 Nov 2010
Saving the world from global warming, digitally

Fate of the World, a computer game from indie developer Red Redemption is one of a new breed of games that bill themselves as a strategy game with a conscience, exploring a nail-biting set of global warming scenarios.

Players have 200 years to manage the planet, running the Global Environment Organisation and making policy choices that could change the future while dealing with a growing population that demands ever more energy and food.

Options range from the prosaic to the positively science fiction, and include restricting family sizes, deliberately releasing and experiencing global pandemics, developing fusion power, geoengineering using giant shields in space, to colonising Mars.

Central to the game are 10 'Masterplans' where the player calls the shots for humanity including the self explanatory 'Apocalypse', and 'Utopia' where a player can try to build an ideal society while controlling population growth.

Gobion Rowlands, chairman of Red Redemption said, "There are also options in the game to kill everyone over the age of 30, like in Logan's Run. In real life, hopefully that's not a good idea, but in a game, you should be able to try it; it's fun. The things that stop you are climate change, pandemics, population problems, and those sorts of things."

One of the key goals is to limit rises in temperature and avert global environmental catastrophe. The game uses real world data sets from the US National Climatic data centre at NOAA, and NASA.

Oxford University's Dr Myles Allen provided state of the art climate change predictions for the games company. "Providing science for games is a new field for me, but public engagement with the issues surrounding climate change is vital and games are a great way of reaching millions of people," said Dr Allen.

Fate of the World is the sequel to the successful 'Climate Challenge' game sponsored by the BBC, which has been played by almost a million people since its launch in 2007.

The new game is available for pre order with an imminent release of a PC beta, and a Mac version due in the spring.

Red Redemption

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