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On May 10th, people around the world will get to decide what their climate futures will look like by playing Survive the Century, a branching narrative climate-fiction game about the political, environmental and social choices humans will face between 2021 and 2100 as we adapt to the ravages of climate change. This game is a work of fiction, but it is informed by real science.

The player of the game is the editor of a popular newspaper and chooses headlines that influence public opinion and political responses to climate change, that include a green recovery from Covid-19. The player’s choices shape the future, and they’re able to read the news that results.

Created by best-selling author Sam Beckbessinger in collaboration with climate scientists Christopher Trisos of the Climate Risk Lab at the  African Climate and Development Initiative and Simon Nicholson of the American University School of International Service, the game aims to show players that there are steps we can take to mitigate global heating and ensure an equitable, green future.

Game co-creator, Sam Beckbessinger, says: “I created Survive the Century because I felt hopeless, and I wanted to explore the ways in which we still have power, our choices matter, and it’s not all over just yet.

“Climate change is not just some distant environmental matter. Climate change is made and experienced by people. How the future will play out is going to be shaped by choices taken by people today, and tomorrow, and the day after. We need better tools for understanding and peering into that future, not out of a sense that we can know for certain what awaits, but so that we can more clearly see the important choices available to us today.”

Game creator bios

Sam Beckbessinger is the best-selling author of Manage Your Money Like a Fucking Grownup, sold in six countries. She writes horror stories and kids’ TV shows.

Christopher Trisos directs the Climate Risk Lab at the African Climate and Development Initiative. Dr Trisos is a co-ordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report.

Simon Nicholson is an Associate Professor at the American University, focusing on global environmental governance, global food politics, and the politics of emerging technologies, including climate engineering and carbon removal technologies. He is co-founder of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment and the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy.

Fiction writer bios

Survive the Century features short fiction provided by:

Lauren Beukes is the award-winning and internationally best-selling South African author of The Shining Girls, Zoo City and Afterland, among other works. Her novels have been published in 24 countries and are being adapted for film and TV. She’s also a comics writer, screenwriter, journalist and documentary maker.

Sophia Al-Maria is a Qatari-American artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work has been exhibited at the Gwangju Biennale, the New Museum in New York, and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Five Dials, Triple Canopy, and Bidoun.

Rajat Chaudhuri is a bilingual author, environment columnist and climate activist. His works include novels, short story collections, and translations. Chaudhuri is also editor of The Best Asian Speculative Fiction anthology and a co-editor of the Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures collection. His biopunk novel, The Butterfly Effect, was twice listed by Book Riot as a “Fifty must read eco-disasters in fiction” and among “Ten works of environmental literature from around the world”. Chaudhuri is a Charles Wallace Creative Writing Fellow and he speaks about climate-literature interface issues in venues at home and abroad. He lives and works in Calcutta.

Maria Turtschaninoff is a Finnish writer known for crafting lyrical, historically inspired fantasy stories starring strong female protagonists. She is the author of the Red Abbey Chronicles, a multiple award winning YA fantasy series sold to nearly 30 countries. Growing up in Finland means growing up close to nature, and both the forest and the sea are important inspirations for her work.

A full list of contributors is here.