I just got myself a copy of the game “Fate of the World” http://fateoftheworld.net/
If you can forgive its slightly clunky interface, switching back & forth between playing ‘cards’, and following all the latest floods, famines & wars you’ve unleashed on the world. It gives an intriguing insight into what lays ahead in the next hundred years if we don’t tackle the looming energy/population/climate crises.
I’ve yet to be successful enough in the game to see if you can develop fusion power, but I hope its in there and will save the day!
How does it deal with this projection: http://overpopulationisamyth.com/images/stories/faq7.jpg ? That’s from the best FAO statistical algorithm.
In the couple of games I’ve played so far the population got upto around 8.5billion but then famines caused by drought started killing people off by 2070 so by 2100 it had dropped back to 7.5billion.
I tried as hard as I could to help, but the population kept falling. On the plus side the economic collapse that went along with it meant emissions fell sufficiently to only have a 2.5C temperature rise by the end of the century, rather than the 3.5C it was heading to.
Sounds like the whole thing is based on inane Club of Rome type assumptions.
I wouldn’t spend money for this game, but I was curious enough to do a few searches to see what I could find about it. The good news is that, yes, it is possible for you to develop fusion power. The bad news is that the technology appears to be the tokamak only, and apparently you can’t start building working reactors until around 2100. I’m not an expert, but I’d call that rather pessimistic.
Ivy Matt wrote: …The bad news is that the technology appears to be the tokamak only, and apparently you can’t start building working reactors until around 2100…
A tok? By 2100? That explains it… they’re thinking of ITER 🙂
Projections and predictions are easy to make, but they’re only as good as the facts they are based on. Facts become outdated very quickly. Any projection involving human behavior is even more difficult. Predicting the arrival of future technology, and what its impact will be at that time, is even more prone to extreme error, but it’s fun to try anyway. The pace of innovation is accelerating, so the world will be very different in 30 or 50 years. I can’t say how or how much it will be different, but it will be like the early 1900s compared to now. We are just scratching the surface of nano-tech, gene manipulation, fusion, brain mapping, social communication, robotics and AI. With even moderate advances in each of those areas, the future possibilities are awesome.
One day, in about 20 years, I may be able to think about a strawberry milkshake, and the nearest feeding station will whip it up, and a cute little robot will deliver it to me, and it will contain the customized ingredients and chemical instructions to tweak my body to optimal performance, lengthening my telomeres and dissolving the small accumulations of plaque on my teeth and in my arteries.
Does it have a way to insert your own assumption? If you have x coal plants running with certain parameters, that’s going into the calculation for emissions. so if you have a template to fill out with a different physics surprise (like working aneutronic fusion reactors by 2015), that would affect those emissions or what have you. But you won’t know the effect on population. That has more to do with women’s education, anyway.
Is it compelling to play? Do you find it absorbing? It seems like an earnest game that’s trying to be constructive and get you to think about global issues.
Is it a good representation of reality and is it fun – the two key questions.
Of course, it’s strange what passes for fun these days. Have you guys seen this game trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZqrG1bdGtg For Dead Island, in which you are a vacationing family attacked by zombies.
I think our culture’s current obsession with zombies is a metaphor for class war and dealing with global poverty. A happy vacationing family in a far off land is attacked by needy ravenous mobs of subhumans. Unfortunately, it’s not a very useful metaphor. Very zero sum. Once you’re a zombie, death is the only solution non-zombies can imagine. Like poverty and unemployment – those who have just want those who don’t to “go away.”
It’s this particular video that made me think of class warfare. All the expensive resorts going up in places and tourist economies that don’t really trickle much down to the poor.
My friend says zombies are about the overpopulation thing, but “overpopulation thing” is really “too many people of the class, race, ethnicity we don’t want” – or at least don’t want to share with. Have you read Amy Chua’s “World on Fire”? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385721862/ajaban-20
I wouldn’t play the zombie game (too depressing), but yearn for a post-disaster game like a post katrina where you have to fix up the ravaged city. Multi player. Triage. Trucks with ice. Incarcerating looters. Getting trapped people off of roofs. Securing hospitals, rebuilding homes. It would be a useful game in that it gets people to develop a checklist of things to do in an emergency. Good preparation.
I had a dentist in LA (Toluca lake – Dr. Ricci – great guy!). A few weeks after Katrina, he took his whole office down to N. Orleans for a week and they went around fixing people’s teeth. I don’t suppose there are many dental post-apocalyptic video games. I think I’ve heard of some medical emergency games. First person healer stuff.
The best zombie vid, though it goes off into gaming images rather than follow the text properly, is this:
“re: Your Brains“.
This game “Fate of the World”, seems like a great outlet promoting the energy problem and solutions to it.
I think a selection of energy sources and research directions could be provided with various prices, chances of success and outcomes. Where aneutronic fusion would have least probability, but would have the greatest impact, followed by other sources with less positive outcomes.
Breakable wrote: I think a selection of energy sources and research directions could be provided with various prices, chances of success and outcomes. Where aneutronic fusion would have least probability, but would have the greatest impact, followed by other sources with less positive outcomes.
If this information is made dynamic based on changes in status having to do with breakthroughs in technology and in the price of things, and there is a way to link it to actual events in the real world it could be really amazing.
At the moment the balance of the game seems to be heavily biased towards biofuels and solar. There is no way even with maxing out the research of getting fusion much sooner. By the time any of the advanced techs come into play it is already too late to avoid financial collapse in around 2070. You can delay the collapse by 5 or 10 years and make it a little less painful, but it always happens. Most of the time you have to resort to geoengineering (ie pumping sulphates into the upper atmosphere) to stop the warming reaching 3 degrees by 2100.
Digging a little deeper you can see all the stats of how much energy of each type every region is using. Together with the demographics of the population, GDP by sector etc. All of the figures look pretty sensible to me. You just have to come to the scary conclusion that the world is in for some very difficult decisions over the next few decades.
I thing a little modding of the config files is in order to see if I can get fusion to kick in by around 2060 and see if it avoids the financial collapse, and subsequent famines.
AaronB wrote: Projections and predictions are easy to make, but they’re only as good as the facts they are based on. Facts become outdated very quickly. Any projection involving human behavior is even more difficult. Predicting the arrival of future technology, and what its impact will be at that time, is even more prone to extreme error, but it’s fun to try anyway. The pace of innovation is accelerating, so the world will be very different in 30 or 50 years. I can’t say how or how much it will be different, but it will be like the early 1900s compared to now. We are just scratching the surface of nano-tech, gene manipulation, fusion, brain mapping, social communication, robotics and AI. With even moderate advances in each of those areas, the future possibilities are awesome.
For years I have quoted or referred to an idea first put forward by the late Arthur Clark:
He basically stated that our view of the future tends to be linear. That is, we tend to foresee as much change in the next 50 years as has occurred in the last 50. The next 10 as has occurred in the last 10… etc.
But that’s not the way that progress occurs. It occurs exponentially. And the interesting thing about that is… If you take any linear equation starting at the zero zero axis and overlay it with any exponential equation. For at least a little bit the exponential equation will lie underneath the linear one. But eventually the exponential equation will always cross over and become greater than the linear equation.
So from a forecasting standpoint: our short term predictions tend to overstate progress. But long term our predictions tend to understate progress.