Ideas about the future have been prevalent in popular culture for hundreds of years. Books, movies, and more recently, video games, have all grappled with what the future will hold for society and how that then affects what it means to be human. My particular interest is how this is portrayed in video games.

Games such as the Fallout and Mass Effect franchises, Overwatch, and even the Assassin’s creed franchise, all predict what will become of society and technology in the not too distant future. Some of them portray a future where humanity has discovered new technologies that allow us to travel the galaxy, some show the dissolution of society as we know it, and some strike somewhere in the middle. Video games, as with most other forms of fiction, show us a world that is often vastly different from ours, in order to explore familiar concepts.

For my Cybercultures research assignment I will be investigating the portrayal of the future in video games. I will be making a video essay, of roughly 12 minutes, in which I discuss the way humanity is portrayed in certain games, and how the portrayal differs between games. I will mainly be focusing on games that I’ve played, and therefor can speak from firsthand experience, but I will also touch about game I haven’t played. In my initial research, I have found it difficult to find scholarly texts on this topic. Most research available was about the future of the video game industry or the portrayal of gender in games. The only research I could find which directly related to my topic were about games which I have not played and did not originally pick to analyse such as Call of Duty, or several articles about Bioshock.

I acknowledge from the outset that my final video and the research I do will in no way be comprehensive, but I hope it can provide a brief overview which will allow me to focus more on the portrayal of the future in video games as a whole. I think the games I have already selected show quite different portrayals of the future, and will do well to provide contrast and context.

Another potential problem I may face is the fact I’ve never actually edited a video before apart from one that only went for under a minute (and was pretty terrible). I am cautiously optimistic about this, as it will allow me to learn as I go.

Overall, I’m excited to do more research on this topic, especially as there isn’t a lot of research already available (I am also excited because a lot of this research will involve playing games). I think this will be a good opportunity to really dive into an interesting topic, as well as learn new skills.

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