The 10 most optimistic visions of the future in video games

A plethora of games take place in a grim future filled with conflicts that can only be resolved through brute force. It’s an easy take on action titles as it offers players plenty of socially acceptable enemy fodder.

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However, some forms of fiction have recognized the value of depicting what humanity can achieve when it puts its small grievances aside. Civil rights activist MLK famously praised star trek for his portrayal of a future in which a Black Starfleet officer was viewed as an equal rather than a servant. While many titles contain dark dystopias, these games show that a better tomorrow is possible.

10/10 Alliances can be forged in Star Control

Beginning with the second installment, the star control Games allow players to converse with multiple alien species to form an alliance. At first the conversations are a bit garbled, with some words just pure gibberish. However, if the talks go well, players will have another species joining their cause.

If the negotiations fail, however, they have created another enemy. While there are still disputes that can only be decided by space skirmishes, many non-hostile and sentient creatures can be argued with and even befriended.

9/10 2064 Read Only Memories is a very inclusive cyberpunk future

2064: Read-only memory

2064 read only memory is a graphical adventure heavily influenced by titles such as snapper and the games of Telltale. Unlike these games Read-Only Reminders Sound is noticeably brighter.

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While the game is set in a cyberpunk future, deals with an abduction and has some body count; The future is pretty expansive, with many gay, non-binary, and trans characters portrayed in a serious light. Unlike other stories that treat cybernetic augmentations as malevolent and harmful, many residents are in Read Only Reminders have augmentations and are perfectly fine.

8/10 VVVVVV has no villain

VVVVVV Pilot crosses ship upside down

VVVVVV is a 2D platformer reminiscent of the games of yesteryear that were hard-hitting but satisfying to beat. The game puts players in control of an interstellar explorer crash-landing on an alien planet and tasked with traversing multiple dimensions to rescue his crewmates. There is no overarching villain manipulating these events.

While there are some enemies, most of the hazards are just platform obstacles like spikes. Since it depicts people exploring other planets, it can be assumed to take place in the distant future.

7/10 Innocent Life brings the formula of farming simulator to the future

Innocent Life's robotic hero drives a vehicle.

innocent life took the harvest moon formula and put them in a futuristic sci-fi setting with a robotic youth. While future technology has provided humanity with plenty of sustenance, the island’s spirits are angered by automation. Faced with a potential catastrophe, Dr. Hope his creation using old fashioned farming.

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You might think that having a robot perform these tasks would still count as mechanization, but whatever. Aside from the persistent grumbles about technological dependency, the game offers much of the laid-back farming gameplay the series is known for.

6/10 Sonic CD rewards those who drive 88 MPH

Sonic faces a utopian landscape

in the Sound CD, the evil Dr. Robotnik aims to acquire all the time stones in order to manipulate history and control the little planet. It’s up to the Blue Bur to stop him. As players dash through the stages without stopping to smell the roses, Act III gives them a glimpse of the future that lies ahead.

The world is being ravaged by Robotnik’s ambitions as all organic life is virtually wiped out and replaced with its technological monstrosities. However, should players obtain the Time Stones, they will be rewarded with a utopian society where nature and technology coexist.

5/10 JumpStart 3rd Grade educates and entertains players

Shot of a futuristic school in front of a mountain.

That jumpstart The titles incorporate basic math and English curriculum in a series of mini-games woven into a larger graphic adventure title. 3rd grade pairs players with a benevolent robot named Botly, who asks for their help to thwart a sinister time-travelling conspiracy.

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Professor Spark’s naughty daughter Polly failed her exams and wants to rewrite history while he’s at a convention. The game is set in the futuristic year 2010. Aside from the anachronisms and the shenanigans of a spoiled child, the future is in Mysterious Mountain looks pretty bright.

4/10 Burning Rangers tasks players with rescuing people from natural disasters

The Burning Rangers cast pose.

With Burning Rangers, Sonic Team attempted to create a benevolent future where societal issues were largely addressed but natural disasters could still occur. While most games on the market were busy taking multiple lives, Yuji Naka was more interested in a title that challenged players to save them.

Back then, the team decided to focus their game on futuristic firefighters. Not only would the profession provide the right amount of excitement and urgency needed for a video game, but it would put players in control of real-life heroes.

3/10 The Kerbal Space Program allows players to explore The Final Frontier

An excited Kerbal levitates from an orbiting spacecraft

Kerbal space program challenges players to help this civilization reach the final frontier. There is no villain to thwart their progress or threaten their planet. The only obstacle to reaching space is sheer experimentation. The game has three different modes: Sandbox, Science and Career. Sandbox basically allows players to let their imagination run wild without any consequences.

Science mode is much more structured and gradually introduces players to new parts. Career mode challenges players to manage their funds, reputation and contracts as they construct their mighty ships. If the Kerbals are stranded, they will not die, so players can easily rescue them.

2/10 The Sims allow players to socialize and have fun

Some excited mutts in The Sims 4

The Sims The games are largely set to take place in an indefinite future, with each subsequent title taking place years after the previous one. They are about creating a community of virtual people who can thrive and thrive while still being responsive to their specific needs. There’s no evil empire to thwart, or malicious corporation pulling the strings (other than EA, of course).

There are only a few Sims to interact with and care for. The third entry opened up the world significantly, allowing players to socialize in ways not previously possible. Players are better off avoiding the fourth installment.

1/10 Heaven’s Vault allows players to channel their inner archaeologist

Archaeologists explore in Heaven's Vault

Even though vault of heaven is set in the future, much of the game deals with the past. Players take on the role of archaeologist Aliya Elasra, who, together with her robotic companion, explores and deciphers the hieroglyphs of a lost civilization. The game features a fictional language called Ancient that players must translate throughout the adventure.

Although much of this is trial and error, players can use the clues surrounding them to guess the meaning of the words. The game is a visual splendor with beautiful 2D characters that blend well with the game’s lush 3D environments.

NEXT: 10 Games That Take Place In The Past But Still Have Futuristic Technology


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