May 25, 2021

The Breakout Grant Finalist: 2100: A Dystopian Utopia by StudioTEKA

As architects and urban designers, StudioTEKA knows how to design beautiful spatial sequences and experiences. In their book, 2100: A Dystopian Utopia, they have imagined and designed a world that meets the challenges of a hotter planet head-on. StudioTEKA has spent the past ten years researching the latest cutting-edge technologies and techniques and envisioning potential solutions to the climate crisis. They are working to harness the persuasive power of VR and connect it to the innovative visioning of future worlds in our book to create experiences that spur us towards not only empathy but decisive action. Climate change disproportionately impacts the economically disadvantaged and communities of color. As a Black woman-owned firm with a diverse team and outlook, StudioTEKA feels compelled to continue to contribute their skills in the fight for climate justice and to bring hope and solutions to this pressing and urgent issue which represents the biggest challenge of our time.

2100: A Dystopian Utopia in VR will be an open world, massive multiplayer survival virtual reality game that allows players to become immersed in the future cities of the book. Set in the year 2100 with a devastating average of 4°C of global warming, the player will begin the game by choosing their starting location from among a selection of cities that are markedly changed from the ones we know today. However, all hope is not lost and these tough survivors are working hard to bring the Earth – now a hostile planet – back from the brink. Every month in real-time is a year in the game where seasons and weather undergo rapid and dramatic shifts in response to the players’ actions. Each player will make choices that will impact the individual and collective experiences of those immersed in this futuristic world.

This experience will immerse players in a world of cities transformed in response to the often unpredictable extreme weather events of a hotter world. In this imagined possible future, there are megacities with ten million or more inhabitants, extraction outpost cities, vast areas of wilderness, and green energy installations in between.

In this virtual multiplayer world, each player will make choices impacting their virtual life, as well as the lives of others, in gameplay. In-game activities are planned to be improvised for the real world, such as building green energy installations, planting trees to sequester carbon, or building fortifications to protect a settlement during hurricane season. Individual and collective action can roll climate change forward, or backward. Each player’s carbon footprint will impact gameplay for the rest of those in the virtual world, for better or for worse. These impacts will be clearly and quantifiably displayed on each player’s leaderboard. These experiences will hopefully leave the player with a fresh perspective on their own individual agency as a part of collective action on this pressing global issue.

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