Global Warming game
January 27, 2013 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone created a game - RPG, Computer, tabletop etc - that uses Global Warming as its basis?

There are many scientific studies that make specific scenario projections about the future (Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet), not unlike the post-nuclear scenarios of the 1950s-80s that spawned so many movies (threads), games (Gamma World etc).. yet Global Warming today seems even more assured to happen (the apocalypse is happening in slow motion as we watch the poles melt, wild weather events etc). There are many generic apocalypse games, that rely on fantasy elements (zombies), but I'm unaware of any hard realism games that look at the planet under the more extreme Global Warming scientific predictions (no fantasy needed).
posted by stbalbach to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Jump Raven.
posted by mkb at 11:23 AM on January 27, 2013

Fate of the World. Very detailed grand-scale strategy game.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by foleypt at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Well the most obvious is SimEarth, an early but ambitious attempt at simulating the lifecycle of a planet from formation to star death. Global warming was possible if your evolved civilization was... irresponsible.

And most of the Civilization games--though not Civ V--include global warming in the late game. So does the spin-off Alpha Centauri. Too much industry and you can find the map to be inhospitable indeed. But the mechanism was never balanced all that well, and you could get some dramatically improbable results at the extremes. Like an entire world of swamp in Civ II, or the entire world being submerged by oceans that rise over a mile in Alpha Centauri.

The entire Fallout series might be in view as well. If I remember correctly, global warming was starting to get pretty bad when a nuclear exchange during 2077 plunges the world into nuclear winter. To describe the resulting landscape as "inhospitable" would be putting it mildly. There, climate change isn't so much a game mechanic as ever-present background.
posted by valkyryn at 12:54 PM on January 27, 2013

Bruno Faidutti's Terra includes a number of ecological crises in abstract form (so maybe not good for delving into the specifics of global warming), one of which, I'm pretty sure, was global warming.
posted by jackbishop at 1:24 PM on January 27, 2013

There is a fan-made add-on to Settlers of Catan called Oil Springs of Catan in which you have to balance the threat of global warming with using oil as an extremely productive resource.

On re-reading the yeah, this isn't a hard realism game... but it is cool.
posted by 3FLryan at 2:50 PM on January 27, 2013

Seconding Fate of the World.
Very detailed and with a cheerfully frustrating learning curve.
Some of the technology assumptions are outdated already, but it is easily moddable.
posted by Triton at 2:57 PM on January 27, 2013

I'm surprised Civ 5 doesn't include global warming; as valkyryn says, every other game in the series does.

The official Settlers of Catan app doesn't reference global warming per se, but the last level of story mode seems to be inspired by ecological crisis, particularly desertification.
posted by gerryblog at 4:18 PM on January 27, 2013

I just got an email through announcing the relase of a new game app based around Climate Change: Climate Defense. Not played it as yet so can't vouch. Its a tower defence game.
posted by biffa at 9:54 AM on January 28, 2013

An earlier, much simpler free flash game by the folks behind Fate of the World (Red Redemption)
posted by juv3nal at 10:42 AM on January 28, 2013

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