There is no doubt that our history has had its dime-a-dozen, "doomsday prophets," including the likes of Nostradamus, The Y2k Bug, and even Heaven's Gate. However, did we ever think to consider the very media we consume could predict the future? Surely these games were made before the events transpired, so how could they know what was going to happen? Cartoons, films, and now video games seem to be prophets by proxy for several events that have come to pass in the real world.
The following entries that make up this list range from fairly coincidental to downright eerily accurate. Some of these are older games, while others are fairly new. Stranger yet, many of these are set either in the near or far future. Futuristic scenarios are coming to pass in interesting ways. Our technological development may not be as advanced as that of the developments made in these video games. However, it is possible that the start of these advancements can be seen in our real world today.
Is it possible that video games can foretell events? Sure. The number of games that are set in a not-too-distant future make these parallels all the easier to draw. It may be eerie to discover that the makers of these games were thinking along the lines of how our world is progressing today, but not surprising given the current state. Video games are most definitely moving towards more accurately mirroring current events.
15 Homefront Predicts The Ascension Of Kim Jong-Un
Homefront a modern first-person shooter was released in 2011. Its plot revolves around a unified Korea as a dangerous superpower where tensions are high. The game predicted the former leader Kim Jong-il's death and his son Kim Jong-un rising to power and succeeding his father, and in turn uniting North and South Korea into the Greater Korean Republic (GKR). Although the game is supposed to be set in an alternate reality, it did actually get several key historical plot points correct.
What's more, a look into the game's backstory also reveals that it was eerily only a couple of weeks off from the date that Kim Jong-Il actually died, and also predicted that in 2013 the country would start nuclear tests, just a few short years after the game was released. This game is set in 2027, so hopefully, it isn't right about anything else. Homefront's plot includes predicted the collapse of the United States financial system in 2022 along with an Asian bird flu epidemic in the same year.
14 Metal Gear Solid 2 Predicts The NSA Spying On Civilians
Kojima is at it again, with ties to NSA spying rising from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty's plot line. Raiden's portion of the game has the closest ties to real-life events. The plot between the Sons of Liberty is closely linked to the recent discovery that the NSA is spying on civilians, which was leaked by Edward Snowden. Although the twist does go a bit too far (with the mapping and cloning of the human genome), there are some solid parallels to today's current situation.
The game began by touching on the Patriot Act, which in a post 9/11 United States would place civilians under much greater surveillance than before. In addition, the Selection of Societal Sanity program also seems to mirror the NSA's PRISM system which is able to monitor everyone and see whatever they are doing.
13 Deus Ex Predicts Justin Trudeau As Prime Minister
In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Canada's Prime Minister is a Mr. Trudeau. This is most likely referring to Justin Trudeau, who had been a member of the Canadian Parliament for Papineau since 2008, and also the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada since 2013. Justin Trudeau was later elected the prime minister-designate of Canada in 2015, four years after Human Revolution was released.
In addition, the in-game text mentions Chateau Laurier as the Prime Minister's residence rather than the real-world address, which is 24 Sussex Drive. However, the Prime Minister's family may not move into 24 Sussex Drive due to the residence requiring a significant amount of repairs. The game also cites Trudeau as Prime Minister through until 2027, meaning he would win the next few terms.
12 Madden Predict The Results Of The Super Bowl
It's not all doom and gloom!
EA's Madden games provide a prediction of who is going to win the Super Bowl each year. The game has a super impressive track record of successfully predicting the outcome of the Super Bowl nine out of thirteen times. This is not a perfect prediction record, of course, but they did get fairly close to the actual scores of the game. They may, in fact, run better without any players taking part. Madden also touts one of the most accurate player ranking systems out there right now.
EA's simulations are, "...pretty straightforward,” says Josh Rabenovets, the senior brand director at Electronic Arts for Madden. They run one game, extensively recording the results and tracking all manner of statistics, which they then publish online alongside footage of the in-game events. “We don’t do much to it,” he says. “We just show it like it is.” He states, according to an interview on Wired. This year's Madden simulation also correctly predicted the results of the Super Bowl LI with a Patriots victory.
11 Ghost Recon Predicted The Exact Year Of The Russia/Georgia Conflict
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon was released back in 2001 and was the first entry in the Ghost Recon series. This game just so happened to focus on a conflict between Russia, Georgia, and other Baltic states, with Russia trying to bring the former Soviet countries back under its control. This all occurs when a Russian Nationalist desires to rebuild the Soviet Union.
What's stranger still is that the game is set in 2008, which was the very same year that an actual conflict between Russia and Georgia actually broke out. Clancy's work is chock full of politics and military strategy, so it isn't too surprising that something would hit sooner or later, what's more alarming is the accuracy of the year of the conflict.
10 Smash TV Predicts The Rise Of Reality TV
Smash TV predicted the rise of reality TV an astounding ten years before any shows of that nature made their debut. The game was released in 1990 and was set in 1999 with a futuristic theme revolving around televised gladiator matches. Players had to enter life-or-death fights in an arena, which was broadcast as a reality TV show. Millions tuned in to watch these battles result in a bloody fight to the finish.
This premise absolutely predicts reality TV's popularity, with millions easily tuning in each week to watch their favorite reality television shows. It was also fairly specific, showing that contest-based shows where contestants were tried way outside of their comfort zone were highly popular. This mirrors shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race, and The Bachelor, however, none (thankfully) have any of the violence that Smash TV imitated.
9 Alpha Centauri Predicts Mapping The Human Genome
It's pretty exciting when humanity is actually able to catch up with fairly "futuristic" science in a video game. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri was released in 1999 and is still revered to this day by fans and developers alike of 4X games. This PC game allowed players to do something scientists at the time could only dream of, which was to map the human genome.
This task was filed under a "special project" in the game, which, once players achieved a knowledge of Biogenetics, they were able to map the human genome. It also gave them a talent stat boost in every one of their bases and protected the population from viral outbreaks. The actual Human Genome Project did not reach completion until several years later, in 2003. So Sid Meier and his fellow developers were definitely ahead of their time with this forward-thinking prediction.
8 Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake Predicts Use Of Algae As Fuel
Creator Hideo Kojima seemed to have some highly progressive ideas for his game series. Solid Snake is set in a world where there is a severe oil crisis where gasoline is scarce, with the entire nation fighting over the last vestiges. The game's solution is an algae that produces fuel as a byproduct. The algae, named Botryococcus braunii, created OILIX, as they produce high-quality petroleum after they photosynthesize.
In Metal Gear Solid 2, OILIX was discovered in 1999 by Dr. Marv. In 2012, the real-world got algae fuel when it came to four Bay Area gas stations in San Francisco. South San Francisco company Solazyme created this fuel, named Biodiesel B20 and sold it for less than $4.25 a gallon. This fuel is comprised of 20% algae and 80% petroleum and emits less toxic greenhouse gases and smog than regular diesel fuel.
7 Final Fantasy VIII Predicts The Death Of SD TV Broadcasts
Squall from Final Fantasy VIII predicts the death of SD television over radio waves, and the rise of IPTV an impressive six years before Youtube even existed. This prediction was not spot-on, as talk of high-definition digital signals were not an entirely new concept. But still, 1999's Final Fantasy VIII had the "HD cable" as a key plot point in an early mission in the game.
As featured in the screencap above, you can see that radio communication tower that had long since been used was planning to re-introduce analogue broadcasts, something that had not been in use for 17 years in the game world. Until this mission, Online HD cable had previously been the only way that signals could be broadcast.
6 Modern Warfare 3 And Battlefield 3 Predict Tensions Between Countries
Both of these games do have similar trends in tensions. The centers of these activities focus on Paris and Russia. Rising tensions between Russia and the USA are featured in Battlefield 3 and in 2016's Modern Warfare 3. With everything in the news right now, the tensions seem to ring true. The relationship between Russia and the United States is extremely strained right now.
In addition, in 2015, recent violent attacks in Paris had put the city on a terrorism watch. Rising tensions across the board when it comes to war and military-based games do seem to at times draw parallels in the real world as games continue to become more realistic with their plotlines.
5 Metal Gear Predicts Gene Therapy Being Used On Soldiers
Kojima scores another hit with his predictions for the future in the Metal Gear series. This time it concerns gene therapy. In the game, gene therapy is used on all of the enemy soldiers in the games. The Genome Soldiers were either injected with the "soldier genes" of Big Boss, or had their nucleotides rearranged to resemble Big Boss's DNA. This increases their aggression and alertness, however, it weakens their necks. There's always a drawback it seems, which makes sense because gene therapy is far from being a perfect process.
The types of application for gene therapy that are used in the real world today are mostly medical. Gene therapy implants genetic material into cells in order to make up for abnormal genes or to create a beneficial protein. It makes sense that this practice can segway into other branches, like the military, in order to improve the effectiveness of our soldiers in combat.
4 Mercenaries 2 Predicts The US Oil Rig Nationalization By Venezuela
The Venezuelan setting of this game, coupled with a pretty obvious allusion to the president at the time, was enough to get a rise out of Hugo Chavez back in 2008. He claimed the game was propaganda designed to garner support for an invasion of the country by the United States. The game also depicted its president trying to gain control of an American oil platform.
Chavez was indeed "nationalizing" sections of the oil industry by paying off US companies at the time when Venezuela had the monetary means to do so. However, Mercenaries 2 predicted the point in 2010 when the Venezuelan government just decided to go for it and seize the assets, which refer to 11 drilling rigs that were US-owned, without any compensation.
3 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Box Art Echoes 9/11
Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 is a real-time strategy video game that was released for PC on October 23rd, 2000, a little under a year before the events of 9/11 happened. After the attack transpired, the game's cover art was pulled and remodeled to remove the depiction of a plane headed towards a burning World Trade Center. The American flag on the front cover was also replaced with the image of a mushroom cloud.
Shortly after, EA offered individual retailers an opportunity to swap out their original box art copies with ones that contained the revised image. However, even though the box art was revised, the World Trade Center was still present in the game's campaign. It is very eerie that such a specific depiction was featured on the game's cover art, especially with the attack happening such a short time later.
2 Deus Ex Predicts The Falling Economic Worth Of Humans
Deus Ex's world is one where humanity is on the decline. You also see the rise of the automaton, which is deemed the "apocalyptic change" in the game world. “One issue that occupies more of my attention these days is the falling economic worth of human beings," says lead writer Sheldon Pacotti in an interview with Kotaku.
Pacotti notes that with more automation additions, the middle class is disappearing because human intelligence, work, and effort simply does not suffice anymore. Humans don't "add value" where they used to. A prime example of this is Watson, IBM's artificial intelligence that actually won Jeopardy against human contestants, Watson also helps to build and strategize with businesses on how best to reach their audiences. It's only a matter of time until humans will pale in comparison to machines... or will they?
1 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Predicts "Make America Great Again" Slogan
Protagonist Raiden comes face to face with Senator Steven Armstrong towards the end of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The antagonist then utters this slogan word for word as he literally has Raiden under his foot, grinding it into his back and quite literally keeping a good man down. While Raiden is at his mercy, the Senator decides to launch into a monologue and share his vision for the America he wants to be a part of.
It is, not surprisingly, revealed that Armstrong's vision for Washington is a grim one, considering he is a villain in the game. He proclaims, "The weak will be purged, and the strongest will fly, free to live as they see fit. They'll make American great again!" This is probably one of the most accurate entries on here, with an actual presidential campaign echoing the same exact words. Metal Gear is pretty spot-on with its predictions for sure. I wonder what else they'll get right?