Have Video Games of the Past Predicted the Future?

Games of the past have very interesting interpretations of the future. Nobody truly knows what it is going to be like, and it is the limitless possibilities of the future that make this time setting such a great backdrop for video game fiction. Want a story that involves flying cars, cyborgs, or laser guns? Simply set it in the future. Anything is possible in the future!

Unfortunately, the future eventually catches up, and what was once written as the future eventually becomes the present. Here, we'll take a look back at some classic games to see what their interpretations of the future were.

The Year: 1995
The Game: Metal Gear (Released July 1987)

What They Thought Would Happen in 1995:

  • A nuclear warhead-equipped bipedal walking tank threatens to launch its nuclear warheads from any location on the globe
  • Androids named Arnold and Bloody Brad are used as terrorists
  • Human cloning

What Came True?
1995 has come and gone, and there are no signs of walking tanks to threaten the world we live in. Terrorist androids don't seem likely anytime soon, considering the Korea's Robotics Ethics Charter, which establishes guidelines to prevent human abuse of robots.

The Year: 199X
The Game: Earthbound (Released August 1994)

What They Thought Would Happen in 1990-1999:

  • Time travel
  • Hostile alien invasion
  • Telekinetic powers
  • Flying saucers controlled by humans
  • The ability to transfer the human consciousness into robots

What Came True?
All we know about Earthbound's time setting is that it took place during the '90s, and none of the events that took place in the game are possible. Besides, if time travel was possible, wouldn't we have already seen visitors from the future by now?

The Year: 1999
The Game: Smash TV (Released 1990)

What They Thought Would Happen in 1999:

  • Reality show involving guns, explosions, and the murder of hundreds of people are used as entertainment
  • Prizes for murdering enough people include 2,600-inch televisions and VCRs

What Came True?
Many of the events that occured in Smash TV closely resembled what will eventually become modern-day television. The early 2000s began a trend of popular reality-based television shows such as Survivor, The Apprentice, and American Idol. Sure, these shows don't involve murder, but they do glorify people humiliating each other for big prizes.

The Year: 200X
The Game: Mega Man (Released 1989)

What The Thought Would Happen in 2000-2009:

  • Humanoid robots will be designed and used to perform industrial tasks involving construction, demolition, logging, electrical operations, or labor, all for the benefit of mankind.
  • Humanoid robots will be used to take over the world.

What Came True?
The 2009 has passed, and there has been no sign of a blue android fighting for “everlasting peace” as suggested in the original Mega Man game. In fact, there aren't even any robots available that will do laborious work for humans, unless you count the Roomba.

The Year: 2010
The Game: Street Fighter 2010 (Released August 1990)

What They Thought Would Happen in 2010:

  • A retired martial artist turned scientist would artificially enhance his body with cybernetic implants known as “bionics.”
  • Trans-dimensional portals will be commonly used
  • Space Travel will be possible with the use of interplanetary warp gates
  • Giant Bugs will roam the Earth

What Came True?
First of all, that retired martial artist turned scientist is in fact, the Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series. The game takes place in 2010, which is now. Look outside, and if the vision of the future according the Street Fighter 2010 came true, you should be able to see giant bugs, portals of all varieties, and space travel. Sadly, most of these things aren't actually possible yet, and we're stuck with the very uninteresting 2010 of reality. Fortunately, the bionics used in the game are almost a reality.

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