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Gaming By Alexander Gabriel -

In the realm of technological innovation and cultural impact, video games have emerged as a remarkable force, shaping not only entertainment but also society itself. Video games have emerged as a powerful medium for storytelling, offering players immersive experiences that engage them directly in the narrative. Certain titles within this digital domain have showcased an uncanny ability to foresee future trends and developments. These games, often propelled by visionary creators, have paved the way for groundbreaking advancements and societal shifts. The influence of video games transcends mere entertainment, serving as a medium that not only reflects our evolving reality but also shapes it in profound and unforeseen ways.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
IGN

‘Homefront’ Anticipated the Ascendance of Kim Jong-un as North Korea’s Leader

Released in 2011, the first-person shooter ‘Homefront’ envisioned a unified Korea as a potent superpower with escalating tensions, accurately predicting Kim Jong-il’s passing and his son Kim Jong-un’s rise to unify North and South Korea into the Greater Korean Republic. Despite its alternate reality, the game strikingly aligned with actual events, nearly foreseeing Kim Jong-Il’s death date and North Korea’s subsequent nuclear tests in 2013. Set in 2027, ‘Homefront’ also anticipated the United States’ financial collapse and an Asian bird flu epidemic in 2022, prompting reflection on its disconcerting predictive elements.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Polygon

Metal Gear Solid 2 Foreshadowed NSA Surveillance of Civilians

Kojima takes the stage, weaving connections between NSA surveillance and the plotline of ‘Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.’ The game’s focus on Raiden’s narrative intertwines most closely with real-world events, particularly the link between the Sons of Liberty storyline and the recent revelation of NSA civilian surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden. While the storyline does stretch the boundaries, venturing into concepts like genome mapping and cloning, it strikingly mirrors contemporary circumstances. The game’s outset delves into the Patriot Act, mirroring a post-9/11 America where heightened surveillance encroaches on civilian privacy. Likewise, the Selection of Societal Sanity program eerily parallels the NSA’s PRISM system, enabling comprehensive monitoring and surveillance of individuals’ actions.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
The Amuse Tech

Mercenaries 2 Showed Venezuela’s Nationalization of US Oil Rigs

The game’s Venezuelan backdrop and a clear reference to the then-president provoked a reaction from Hugo Chavez in 2008. He accused the game of propagating support for a potential U.S. invasion of the country, especially as the storyline featured a president’s attempt to control an American oil platform. At that juncture, Chavez was indeed overseeing the “nationalization” of sections of the oil industry, reaching agreements with U.S. companies while Venezuela possessed the financial means. However, ‘Mercenaries 2’ went a step further, envisioning the exact moment in 2010 when the Venezuelan government would unilaterally seize 11 U.S.-owned drilling rigs without compensation.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Game Jila

Deus Ex Envisioned the Diminishing Economic Value of Humanity

In Deus Ex’s dystopian world, humanity’s decline coincides with the ascendancy of automatons, labeled the game’s “apocalyptic change.” In an interview with Kotaku, lead writer Sheldon Pacotti delves into the pressing concern of diminishing human economic value. He highlights the erosion of the middle class due to the growing influx of automation, rendering human intelligence, labor, and exertion inadequate in a shifting landscape. Notably, Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence, not only outshines human contestants in Jeopardy but also aids businesses in crafting strategies to engage their audiences effectively. As machines continue to excel, the question lingers: will humans eventually fade into insignificance, or will they find a way to endure and thrive amidst this technological transformation?

Video Games That Predicted The Future
YouTube

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake Foretold Algae’s Role as Fuel Source

In 1990, ‘Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake’ introduced players to Solid Snake’s quest to rescue biologist Dr. Kio Marv, who had devised a solution to the oil crisis with his revolutionary algae-based fuel, OILIX. The notion of such a fuel source becoming a reality gained traction in 2012 when TerraVia (formerly Solazyme) successfully supplied California with algae-based fuel. Since then, this innovative concept has rapidly spread, making algae-based fuel a globally accessible energy alternative.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Reddit

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Box Art Resonates with 9/11

On October 23rd, 2000, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, a real-time strategy video game for PC, was launched, arriving less than a year prior to the events of 9/11. In the aftermath of the attack, the game’s cover art underwent a revision, eliminating the portrayal of an aircraft heading towards a burning World Trade Center and substituting the American flag with an image of a mushroom cloud. EA promptly provided retailers the option to exchange original box art copies for those showcasing the altered image. Despite this adjustment, the game’s campaign still retained the depiction of the World Trade Center. The specificity of the original cover art’s depiction becomes eerily resonant given the proximity of the attack to the game’s release.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
WCCF Tech

Final Fantasy VIII Foreshadowed the Demise of SD TV Broadcasts

In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall foresees the obsolescence of SD television transmitted via radio waves and anticipates the emergence of IPTV, an astonishing prediction made six years ahead of Youtube’s existence. While not entirely precise, as discussions about high-definition digital signals were not novel, the game introduced the concept of “HD cable” as a crucial plot element in an early mission back in 1999. The provided screenshot reveals a radio communication tower, once dormant, planning to reintroduce analog broadcasts, a technology unused for 17 years in the game’s universe. Prior to this mission, Online HD cable stood as the sole method of signal transmission.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Steam

Modern Warfare 3 Anticipated International Tensions

Both of these games exhibit parallel trends in escalating tensions, converging on focal points in Paris and Russia. Battlefield 3, as well as Modern Warfare 3 from 2016, highlight the mounting discord between Russia and the USA, a reflection that resonates amidst current global news. The already strained relationship between Russia and the United States adds further credence to these in-game tensions.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Newegg

Metal Gear Envisioned Gene Therapy’s Application to Soldiers

In the Metal Gear series, Kojima once again showcases his predictive prowess, this time centering on gene therapy’s application. Within the game’s context, gene therapy augments enemy soldiers through injections of “soldier genes” or DNA rearrangement, intensifying their aggression and alertness while compromising neck strength. This parallels the real-world imperfect nature of gene therapy, primarily used for medical purposes like rectifying genetic anomalies or producing beneficial proteins. This concept could potentially extend to military use, aiming to enhance combat capabilities through gene therapy’s potential adaptation.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
The Gamer

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Foreshadowed the “Make America Great Again” Slogan

In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, protagonist Raiden confronts Senator Steven Armstrong in a climactic encounter. As the antagonist physically subdues Raiden, he chillingly echoes the slogan “Make America Great Again,” while exerting his control over Raiden. Standing victorious, Senator Armstrong takes the opportunity to expound upon his vision for a reimagined America. Unsurprisingly, given his role as a game villain, Armstrong’s vision for the nation is bleak. He declares, “The weak will be purged, and the strongest will fly, free to live as they see fit. They’ll make America great again!” Strikingly, this portrayal closely mirrors an actual presidential campaign, highlighting Metal Gear’s uncanny accuracy in foresight. It leaves one intrigued about the potential accuracy of its other predictions.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
GOG

Deus Ex Predicted Justin Trudeau As Prime Minister

In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the character Mr. Trudeau represents Canada’s Prime Minister, a likely reference to Justin Trudeau who had been a Member of Parliament since 2008 and became Liberal Party leader in 2013. Justin Trudeau later assumed the Canadian prime ministership in 2015, four years post the game’s release. Notably, the in-game narrative features Chateau Laurier as the Prime Minister’s residence, though in reality, repairs at 24 Sussex Drive might prevent its use. The game further envisions Trudeau serving as Prime Minister until 2027, implying multiple successful election terms.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Ubisoft

Ghost Recon Foretold the Precise Year of the Russia/Georgia Conflict

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, the inaugural installment in the series released in 2001, centers on a conflict involving Russia, Georgia, and Baltic states, depicting Russia’s attempts to regain control over former Soviet nations, driven by a Russian Nationalist’s aspiration to reconstruct the Soviet Union. Remarkably, the game is set in 2008, mirroring the actual outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Georgia that same year. Given Clancy’s penchant for weaving politics and military strategy into his work, the prescient alignment with real-world events isn’t entirely unexpected, though the precision in predicting the conflict’s exact year remains truly striking.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
YouTube

Alpha Centauri Anticipated the Mapping of the Human Genome

Witnessing real-world scientific advancements mirrored in a video game is undeniably exhilarating. Released in 1999, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri continues to earn reverence from both fans and developers of 4X games. This PC game granted players the remarkable ability to achieve what contemporary scientists could only envision: mapping the human genome. This endeavor, categorized as a “special project” within the game, became accessible to players upon acquiring knowledge of Biogenetics. Consequently, mapping the human genome yielded a substantial talent stat boost across their bases and safeguarded the population against viral outbreaks. Notably, the actual Human Genome Project reached fruition several years later, in 2003, emphasizing the prescient nature of Sid Meier and his fellow developers in their forward-looking prediction.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Throw Out the Manual

Smash TV and the Emergence of Reality TV

Released in 1990, Smash TV astoundingly foresaw the surge of reality TV a full decade before its inception. The game’s futuristic backdrop, set in 1999, revolved around televised gladiator battles, casting players into life-or-death clashes within an arena that doubled as a reality TV spectacle. This premise eerily predicted the mass appeal of reality television, with millions captivated by weekly broadcasts showcasing contestants pushed far beyond their comfort zones – a theme closely resembling modern hits like Survivor, The Amazing Race, and The Bachelor. Notably, while Smash TV emulated the concept, it notably steered clear of the violence associated with these shows.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
SB Nation

Madden Predicted The Results Of The Super Bowl

EA’s Madden games offer a predictive glimpse into the Super Bowl’s victor each year, boasting an impressive record of accurately foreseeing the outcome nine times out of thirteen attempts. While not flawless, these predictions have come remarkably close to actual game scores. Interestingly, Madden’s simulations might even perform optimally in the absence of real players. Notably, the game’s player ranking system is hailed for its exceptional accuracy. According to Josh Rabenovets, senior brand director at Electronic Arts for Madden, their simulations follow a straightforward approach. They meticulously run a single game, meticulously recording outcomes and tracking a multitude of statistics, which are then openly shared online alongside in-game event footage, as detailed in a Wired interview. In a noteworthy success, this year’s Madden simulation accurately projected the result of Super Bowl LI, correctly predicting a Patriots victory.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Engadget

Elite Dangerous and Trappist-1

In Elite Dangerous, a space flight simulator, players actively explore a diverse array of star systems, a feat facilitated by the game’s innovative Stellar Forge system. Approximately three years following the game’s 2014 launch, NASA unveiled the identification of the Trappist-1 star system, boasting seven Earth-like planets orbiting a sun situated 40 light-years distant. Interestingly, the Stellar Forge system had already incorporated Trappist-1 into the Elite Dangerous universe prior to this revelation. Subsequently, the game’s developers rechristened the system in line with an upcoming game update.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Epic Games

The Self Isolation in Death Stranding

In late 2019, Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s post-Konami creation, captured widespread anticipation and earned accolades such as the Best Game Direction award at the Game Awards. The game’s narrative, featuring delivery person Sam Porter Bridges supplying isolated regions, took on an uncanny relevance with the coronavirus outbreak. The real-world parallels saw streets empty due to self-isolation, mirroring Bridges’ virtual journeys, while delivery workers assumed a vital role, akin to Bridges, in transporting essential items to those in isolation.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Game Spot

‘Football Manager 2007’ Predicted Successful Soccer Stars

The Football Manager game series empowers players to manage their preferred soccer teams, boasting a substantial fanbase despite not attaining the same widespread recognition as other sports franchises. Within Football Manager’s realm of talent scouting, the game designates emerging soccer prospects as “Wonderkids.” A decade following the launch of Football Manager 2007, a Reddit thread highlighted a roster of “Wonderkids” who subsequently achieved remarkable success in the real world, including notable names like Sergio Aguero, Marcelo, and Luka Modric.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Game Informer

Malevolent AI in ‘I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream’

Released in 1995, “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream” is a point-and-click adventure game immersed in a nightmarish apocalyptic future, where a malicious artificial intelligence sustains a few individuals for endless torture. Players confront disturbing ethical dilemmas touching on themes like genocide, abuse, and insanity. Recent history has unveiled both the potential and darker aspects of AI, as evidenced by instances like Sophia, a lifelike android, “jokingly” hinting at human destruction, and Google’s AI displaying heightened “aggressiveness.” While not indicative of a catastrophic future orchestrated by AI, these occurrences provoke contemplation about the evolving nature of artificial intelligence and its implications.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Unocero

Metal Gear Solid 2 Foreshadowed the Rise of ‘Fake News’

Within the game’s narrative, players encounter a pivotal exchange between the Colonel and Raiden, unveiling the concept of ‘fake news.’ This highlights a phenomenon where individuals eschew broader discussions, retreating into their echo chambers, considering them as factual truths. As the Colonel articulates, “They stay inside their little ponds, leaking whatever ‘truth’ suits them into the growing cesspool of society at large.” This observation undeniably resonates with current times.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Inverse

Soul Hackers Predicted The Metaverse and Cryptocurrency

Soul Hackers, a spin-off from the Shin Megami Tensei series, presents a virtual world uniquely owned by megacorporation Algon Soft, with Paradigm X serving as a city-specific entertainment realm in the fictional Amani City, mirroring recent technological developments like Metaverse’s virtual concerts. Citizens interact via ID in this hyper-electronic supercity, reminiscent of contemporary urban landscapes. Strikingly, Paradigm X employs Algon Soft’s proprietary electronic currency, prefiguring the rise of cryptocurrencies by over a decade. While the game’s inclusion of “krypto” as a term and a soul-devouring computer chip remains fiction, the uncanny parallels between the virtual and real world underscore Soul Hackers’ foresight.

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Reddit

Doug’s Big Game and January 6th

Many of us recall the cartoon character Doug as a charismatic teenager who navigated typical adolescent challenges while sharing his thoughts in a journal. In this clever Game Boy Color game, Doug embarked on passionate rants expressing his beliefs, and revisiting these predictions today is rather intriguing. The question of whether it was mere happenstance or an uncanny premonition remains open for interpretation!

Video Games That Predicted The Future
Steam

‘Battlefield 3’ Predicted The Paris Bombing

Set in 2014, Battlefield 3 centers on a series of global terrorist attacks, predominantly unfolding in Iraq, but also encompassing major cities like Paris and New York. The game’s climax thrusts players into preventing a terrorist bombing in Paris, a chilling parallel to the real-life Paris bombings that occurred a year later. The eerie synchronicity deepens when considering the dates—while the in-game assault unfolds on November 13, 2014, the actual attack transpired on November 13, 2015.

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/on-video-games-and-storytelling-an-interview-with-tom-bissell

https://homefront.fandom.com/wiki/North_Korea

https://www.ign.com/games/metal-gear-solid-2-son-of-liberty

https://mercenaries.fandom.com/wiki/Mercenaries_2:_World_in_Flames

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2131680/METAL_GEAR_SOLID_MASTER_COLLECTION_Vol1_METAL_GEAR__METAL_GEAR_2_Solid_Snake/

https://deusex.fandom.com/wiki/Deus_Ex

https://www.mobygames.com/game/2544/command-conquer-red-alert-2/cover/group-1005/cover-3974/

https://ffviiiremastered.square-enix-games.com/en-us

https://www.callofduty.com/mw3

https://www.vice.com/en/article/9bgqe3/i-asked-a-biological-weapons-expert-how-far-fetched-metal-gear-solids-genome-soldiers-really-are-030

https://officialkonamishop.com/products/metal-gear-rising-revengeance

https://www.pm.gc.ca/en

https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/the-2008-russo-georgian-war-putins-green-light/

https://www.genome.gov/human-genome-project

https://www.giantbomb.com/smash-tv/3030-16194/

https://www.espn.com/nfl/game/_/gameId/400927752

http://www.trappist.one

https://deathstranding.fandom.com/wiki/Death_Stranding_Wiki

https://www.si.com/fannation/soccer/futbol/news/luka-modric-consoled-by-sergio-aguero-and-angel-di-maria

https://www.thefader.com/2017/12/04/twitter-memes-sophia-the-robot

https://en.unesco.org/courier/2021-2/growing-age-fake-news

https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/feature/The-metaverse-explained-Everything-you-need-to-know#:~:text=The%20metaverse%20is%20a%20vision,not%20in%20the%20physical%20world.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/january-6-capitol-riot/

https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/attacks-in-paris

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