Friday, 13 January 2012

Fate Of The World (Or How I Learned To Stop Vegetarianism And Love The Bomb)

Let me preface this by saying, I try not to talk about video games that often here on Muppets For Justice. It’s not that I don’t like them (that’s far from the truth), but I thought that if I allowed myself to write about them, I’d end up with a very dull Blog about graphical quality or who is the best out of Sonic and the guy who deals the cards on Microsoft Hearts. Regardless, I simply have to flag up a  fascinating game called Fate Of The World, and I'm not even being paid to do so.

Fate Of The World is not a traditional game in that you don’t shoot or stab anyone. I understand that some of you might feel slightly nauseous at this thought, but it is a beautiful simulation game with a simple interface, but a magnificently delicate model working behind the scenes.  It’s a strategy game which puts you in control of a fictional organisation (The GEO) tasked with combating global warming and improving the lives of the planet’s ever expanding population. To do this, you select policy cards ranging from improving healthcare and education, to reforestation and stopping the use of coal or oil in a region. Then you advance five years and see what effects your policies have had.

The fate of this thing is in your hands

Sounds pretty easy right? Give people access to aspirin and plant a few trees, job done. Wrong. Every action in Fate Of The World has an equal and opposite reaction and if left unchecked, what seem like sensible policies for a greener Earth can cause mass genocide.

I thought I’d talk about my first experiences of the game to help you understand how disastrously bad events can turn. After a short tutorial mission which was disarmingly easy, I chose the first main mission which required me to reduce global oil consumption whilst keeping the HDI (Human Development Index, a figure which shows people’s quality of life based on wealth, life expectancy, health, etc.) above 0.7 across the board.

My strategy was clear in my mind. I would improve healthcare across the poorest regions such as North and South Africa, then move onto compulsory education in those regions. For the wealthier regions like Europe, North America and Japan, I’d concentrate on renewable energy, planting trees, and stopping deep water oil drilling. An eco warrior’s dream world, right? Being the liberal lefty that I am, I thought I’d be able to finally prove that the world could exist peacefully if everyone had access to health and education, and all power was generated by wind farms.

Play your cards right

Right from turn one I realised that North Africa was basically spoiling for a fight. Mass outbreaks of violent protests and rioting were cropping up all over the region, forcing me to spend a little too much money on providing security to the continent. The whole continent was turning into Fight Club, only someone must have forgotten the first two rules as news of this brawl spread faster than Katie Price's vaginal butter.  I started by building a welfare office, whilst funding peacekeeping troops to try and keep dissent at bay. This escalated further when I found myself having to impose martial law to stop people from killing each other (one of my agents was even kidnapped and killed during this conflict). In a the space of about 15 years I’d personally transformed from a pacifist into a militaristic fascist, and found that I hadn’t even started my higher education program yet. This was disappointing, but inconsequential compared to what was happening elsewhere.

In order to fund my projects in other areas of the globe, I decided to raise a little extra cash in richer areas. I introduced a tobin tax in Europe and Japan (this is basically the Robin Hood tax which takes a cut of all financial transactions). I noticed in Europe that after five years, businesses were threatening to leave the region, so I removed the tax to try and avoid a similar situation to North Africa. However, I forgot to remove it from Japan. The very next turn, Japan removed all support for me and pulled out of the GEO. When a region does this, it takes a substantial chunk of your funding away, so I was starting to feel the financial pinch.

However, my main issues were cropping up in India. This is a perfect example of how a fantastic plan can go horrendously wrong in Fate Of The World. From early on I noticed that, due to the massive population (which was still growing at an alarming rate), farming and agriculture was under immense pressure to supply food to the region. To alleviate this issue, I flicked through my policy cards to find a suitable solution. It was then I came across the brilliant idea of encouraging vegetarianism. This would relieve pressures on farming as they won’t be required to keep expensive animals, and Indian people love a good vegetable curry, right? So, I played my Vegetarian Revolution card and waited for my utopian iron-deficient society to emerge.

The orangutans were learning to use tools?!  Damn, they could have propped up the economy!
 A couple of turns later, I was alerted to the fact that people weren’t pleased about the reduction in meat. I figured that they were just suffering the last of their meat sweats and that they’d soon settle down. How wrong I was. The situation escalated to a point where I couldn’t contain it with peacekeeping forces. Conflicts were arising, people were trading arms, bacon was being imported on the black market (presumably), and then someone dropped the N word. Nuclear bombs. That’s right, people were so upset by the lack of minced beef that they decided to annihilate themselves in a nuclear armageddon.

So, thanks to what I thought was probably the meekest and most peaceful policy I could have enforced, I bought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Nearly 600 million people were wiped out of existence in the space of 5 years, the HDI in India fell to 0.2 and worst of all, the world’s supply of naan bread was totally destroyed. I have failed the world.

If you’d like to watch the Earth crumble around you for fun, please visit developer Red Redemption’s website. The game along with all the DLC is £15, and I’d heartily recommend it for those of you who think they know what it takes to save the world.


  1. Great review - sounds like a game that might be right up my alley... :)

  2. A nuclear holocaust brought about by the abolishment of bacon is a very plausible outcome. You'd probably have a better reaction if you outlawed all foods beside bacon. But, great review, and I believe Red Redemption should hire you as a promoter. This post definitely makes me want to give this game a go.

  3. I have no illusions that I would be able to capably rule the world. Unless the world doesn't like pants, 'cause then I would be your man. "A vote for flip, is a vote against pants."

  4. Looks a lot like Sim city on a grand scale.

  5. I love this types of games i gotta check it out!

  6. It's an awesome game, especially if you love statistics. Although the stats side of things isn't pushed on you, it's all just one click away, providing you stats from how many people are employed different sectors, reliance on coal, migration, etc. It's all there.

    And thank you. If I lose my job, I might ask Red Redemption for employment. I'll be asking you all for references.

  7. I like this game. "The more you meddle the worse it get." I don't think there's any way to actively balance things out on a global level. The numbers are just too big. It would be fun to try though, when the consequences aren't real. Just roll the dice and build a new world.


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