When you think of it, maybe it’s not the best of ideas if video games predicted the future. You’d have a scenario where everybody is at war with each other or you’d find yourself in a post apocalyptic landscape about to fend off zombies or maybe in a spaceship like craft about to take on a whole lot of aliens. And quite frankly, no one would want a future which is depicted through video game. But there are times when things in videogames have, startlingly, come true. As creepy/spookily interesting as these sounds, there have been instances where video games have to a certain extent predicted the future by predicting events. We’ve got four such instances for you….fasten your seat belts.
Solid Snake, The Original Edward Snowden
If you want to be pedantic about it, it’s actually Raiden that this happens to. But nobody likes Raiden, even though it’s his portion of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty that has the closest ties to later, real-life events. Like Tom Clancy, Metal Gear director Hideo Kojima is a crazy fan of politics, war and military advances, meaning that the games are as filled with actual developments in society and technology as much as they are with a guy hiding from genetically-enhanced super soldiers in a cardboard box.
Perhaps the most startling prediction Kojima has made and seen come true was the parallels between the plot of Sons of Liberty and the recent revelations of NSA spying on civilians, leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. In fact, the game began by riffing on the rumblings of the Patriot Act which, in a post-9/11 US, would place its citizens under greater and greater surveillance by the state.
Metal Gear Solid 2′s climactic twist does go a little overboard with regards to its shadowy government dealings (the human genome getting mapped and cloned, and all that), but it also introduced the Selection for Societal Sanity program, whose description sounds exactly like the NSA’s PRISM system, which monitored the online comings and goings of…everyone.
Ghost Recon Gets The Russia-Georgia War Right To The Year
Tom Clancy (RIP) racked up more correct predictions than Nostradamus during his life. That might be because he filled his doorstop-sized books – and the games and films inspired by them – with so much unnecessary detail about real-world politics, weapons and military strategies that at some point that thick sludge of information in his fiction was going to hit upon something that then happened in non-fiction. As in, the real world. Besides foreseeing the recent conflicts between Russia and the Ukraine in his final book, Command Authority, the first Ghost Recon game to carry Clancy’s name also predicted a skirmish between the Ruskies and neighbouring Georgia.
Released way back in 2001, the first entry in the series – titled Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon – centred on a conflict between Russia, Georgia and various Baltic states, as the former tries to bring the former Soviet countries back under its control. Also the guy in charge looks a lot like Putin. Finally, the game was set in 2008, the very year that the actual conflict between Russia and Georgia broke out, which is pretty eerily accurate.
Homefront Knew When Kim Jong-Il Would Die
Of course, all of us knew that Kim Jong-Il wouldn’t live forever, producing high-quality cinema and keeping up his record breaking lifetime score for amateur golf. He had to return to his original form and home planet-erm, we mean, he was a Supreme Leader but he was ultimately only human. Better than most humans, but still only human. What none of us could predict with any certainty was exactly when the old nutter would finally pop his Communist clogs. As a matter of fact, there was one source that predicted it: first-person shooter Homefront.
Set in an “alternate reality” where tensions between North and South Korea were at breaking point, Homefront was actually closer to real life than it let on. In the game’s back story they were just a couple of weeks off nailing the date Kim Jong-Il actually died, but the game was dead on when its fictional North Korea had the reigns of power passed onto Kim Jong-Un, and that in 2013 the country would start conducting nuclear tests. Thankfully absolutely nothing else from Homefront has come to pass, but those three coincidences are impressive enough to us.
Deus Ex And 9/11
Set in the far-flung future of 2052, Eidos’ influential cyberpunk game Deus Ex (and the sequels that followed) have always been looking forwards in terms of human evolution and technology, getting in on the ground floor of transhumanism before we’d even come up with the likes of Google Glass, let alone before we started mocking people for wearing Google Glass. For all of its peering into the futuristic abyss of the singularity though, it’s one of Deus Ex’s more contemporary predictions that came true.
9/11 was such a momentous and tragic event of the modern age that you can barely go online without stumbling across a half-dozen conspiracy theories related to it. In the case of Deus Ex, the World Trade Centre was noticeably absent from the game’s New York City skyline; this was actually due to technical limitations, but Eidos wrote into the game’s story that the buildings had been destroyed in a terrorist attack. The game came out in 2000, a good year before the real-life attacks that brought the Twin Towers down. Pretty spooky if you ask us.
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