I play a lot of video games. I don’t think that makes me a unique little snowflake, I’m stating it for empathy reasons. Like most people, I’ll generally play a game through once or twice and have a bash at the multiplayer for a while until the sequel comes out a year later or I get bored. Over my 14 years of gaming, the longest I’ve played the same game for is probably a year and in today’s gaming culture, where new ways for me to pretend to kill people arrive every week, that’s becoming rarer.
So when a guy named “Lycerius” posted on Reddit saying he’d played the same save file of Civilization II for the past ten years, Reddit, the internet news media and then Radio 4 went into overdrive; leading “Civilization II” to trend on Twitter, alerting a new, zillion-strong audience of One Direction and Olly Riley fans to the thrills of historical, turn-based strategy video gaming.
Lycerius has been playing as the Celts and has reached the year 3991 (starting in 4000BC). If you missed this and are wondering what the year 3991 looks like, it’s not the Utopian paradise we’re all rooting for. Here’s a summary from Lycerius’ Reddit post that sums up his creation [sic]:
- The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation.
- There are 3 remaining super nations in the year 3991 A.D (the Celts, Vikings and Americans), each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swathes of the world uninhabitable wastelands.
- The ice caps have melted over 20 times (somehow) due primarily to the many nuclear wars. As a result, every inch of land in the world that isn’t a mountain is inundated swamp land, useless to farming. Most of which is irradiated anyway.
- As a result, big cities are a thing of the distant past. Roughly 90% of the worlds population (at it’s peak 2000 years ago) has died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm.
- The three remaining nations have been locked in an eternal death struggle for almost 2000 years. Peace seems to be impossible. Every time a cease fire is signed, the Vikings will surprise attack me or the Americans the very next turn, often with nuclear weapons. Even when the U.N forces a peace treaty. So I can only assume that peace will come only when they’re wiped out.
If Lycerius’ world is anything to go by, we don’t have a particularly hopeful future to look forward. All the world’s tech, diplomacy and science won’t save us from total and utter devastation.
Read the rest of the interview at VICE.