(Video) The Climate Change Message in the New “Black Ops 3” Video Game
How can we bring climate change awareness into the American mainstream? One way is by weaving climate messages into the cultural mainstream. The new Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 video game is set in a future transformed by climate change, where resources are scarce and the economy is in ruins. As this Forbes article points out, even though many people will play the game just for fun, seeing the devastating effects rising temperatures have had on this futuristic landscape may help make the connection in their own minds with climate impacts in the real world.
The choice to incorporate climate change and other social issues was deliberate, as the game’s creators make clear in the video below. They though it was important to show the connections between climate change, resource scarcity, and economic collapse. If players are interested, they can go to a vault of hundreds of articles in the “Safehouse” that explain how the world got to this point.
As this game and movies like Mad Max: Fury Road demonstrate, popular culture offers a great opportunity to raise climate awareness without preaching, and connect the dots between what’s happening around us now, and what could happen if we don’t take action.
By David Their, contributor to Forbes
It is, in some ways, a First Person Military Shooter that Bernie Sanders might approve of, at least in theory. The Black Ops series has always had a bit of twisted edge to it, but the far future setting of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is taking that idea one step further, extrapolating some of the biggest problems facing the world today into a dark future. That means things like artificial intelligence and advanced robotics, but also things like climate change and income inequality. I talked to Treyarch’s Dan Bunting all the way back at E3, who said that this is just the world they began to imagine after doing as much research as they could.
“We look for threads that happen today and try to imagine how those carry forward, and some of the really big themes that kept popping up is artificial intelligence and advanced robotic,” he said. “The game has a themes of a future world where resources are much more scarce, where climate change has really changed the landscape of alliances in the world, and rising levels, and how that effects the environments that you’re going to play in — there are a lot of threads that we’re drawing on from today and trying to project those out it into the future.”
A new story overview goes a little bit deeper into some of these themes also dropping hints that, like in Black Ops 1, the player character won’t always be the most trustworthy narrator. Watch below: