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‘Highwater,’ the new video game that immerses players in a dystopian world ravaged by climate change » Yale Climate Connections

A new video game called “Highwater” immerses players in a dystopian world ravaged by climate change-induced floods, war, and chaos.

In the game, players help a teenager named Nikos sneak onto a rocket ship the rich have built to flee to Mars. 

“Since wars are raging, people are dying of dysentery, et cetera, he wants to move to a better life,” says Igor Simic, CEO and creative director of Demagog Studios, which created Highwater.

To get there, Nikos must navigate the landscape by boat, collect his friends, and fight adversaries.

Along the way, players face moral questions.

“So for example, you might decide not to help someone because there isn’t enough space in your boat, or you might decide to help them,” Simic says.

The game is satirical at times. Simic says it’s meant for entertainment, not to preach about climate change.

But the creators were influenced by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and flooding in Serbia.

“That triggered something, just the images of boats going around the water that is up to the first floor or second floor,” Simic says.

So while the game depicts a fictional world, it reflects real fears people have about climate disasters.

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media

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