The future of man — via video game

Remember that satisfyingly cheesy 90s film Waterworld? “Starring” Kevin Costner?

As the title suggests, the world’s gone all to hell, turned into one massive ocean by the melting of the polar ice caps, where the concept of “dryland” is nothing more than a legend.  The seas are dominated by hordes of pirates. where only the ruthlessly tough can survive.

That contrived Hollywood vision may end up being not pretty close to what the world will be like in the year 3991.  That’s if you believe a gamer named Lycerius, who has been playing the 1996 game Civilization II for ten years — just to see what happens.

In Lycerius’ world, “peace seems to be impossible,” as three superpowers — the Celts, the Vikings, and the Americans — struggle for world dominance.  The earth has been wrecked, and the parts that aren’t mountainous have turned to swampland. 90 percent of the earth’s population has been wiped out by famine or nuclear attacks.

All this makes me doubt that the Golden Gate Bridge is left standing.

Perhaps the greatest irony of Lycerius’ game experience is the politics. Just like in Real America, the system is broken.  Lycerius wrote:

“I wanted to stay a democracy, but the Senate would always over-rule me. . . I was forced to do away with democracy roughly a thousand years ago because it was endangering my empire.”

Let’s hope that’s not a foretaste of anything to come in the real United States.

Lycerius’ explained what he’s going to do next with the game:

“My goal for the next few years is to try and end the war and thus use the engineers to clear the swamps and fallout so that farming may resume.  I want to rebuild the world, but I’m not sure how.”

If you have any ideas for how to make peace happen, Lycerius is open to suggestions.