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Apocalyptic, But Fun

In less than 40 years, the effects of climate change will be clear: floodwater will rush through the London streets, snowdrifts will bury Moscow, and flames will tear through Sydney -- or so says "Fay," a time traveler from the year 2050, in a new video game from Daedalic Entertainment. "We imagine a future where all of the worst-case scenarios have come true," says Claas Paletta, a manager with the Hamburg-based company.

Set mostly in the present day, A New Beginning, which was released internationally earlier this year, turns beating climate change into a choose-your-own adventure with a focus on two main characters: Fay, who is on a mission to reverse the mistakes of humankind that have made the planet uninhabitable, and Bent Svensson, an aging engineer mysteriously forced to give up on a potential solution having to do with engineered algae.

"The game isn't telling players that they need to change their lightbulbs," Paletta says. "Those things are important but not very entertaining." Instead, he says, its aim is to get people thinking about the bigger-picture issues the characters are dealing with -- things like "What's my responsibility?" and "What's too much responsibility for one person alone?"

image of Lauren Friedman
Lauren F. Friedman is a freelance writer and multimedia journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in Psychology Today, GOOD, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications. As a Sulzberger Scholar at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalis... READ MORE >
This is such a great idea!! I hope they market it well and make it a competitive alternative to blood-and-guts war games.