Destiny calls, so get ready for the meta-game of your life!
You're a gamer, so you know the drill. It's the usual scenario: The evening of the apocalypse. You're living in a dystopian tech-world, steeped in conspiracy and post-truth propaganda, where protestors and refugees wail against the machinations of authoritarian regimes. Hacker wars rage across the planet, a pulsing electronic arms race, in which nation states and criminal gangs play a complex, high-stakes game of nuclear-whack-a-mole. Self-guided drones drift in the sick, dirty air, monitoring everything below with unflinching glass eyes.
It's a world that boasts impressive advances in the areas of science, medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence and space travel but increasingly, it's a world which belongs to the looming mega-corporations, for whom corruption and greed are entry-level qualifications. They carve up the greying body of the planet and slap a lurid sticker on her toe-tag, emblazoned with the naked lie, "sustainable".
For most of the planet's lifeforms, continued survival requires clean air and water at the bare minimum. Many species also require healthy soil and a steady supply of fresh, green, sprouting organisms, just to exist. However, on this diseased industrial rock, the most vital and fundamental of resources are constantly injected with shocking amounts of poison and waste. Toxins spread throughout the lungs and flesh of the environment. There's more plastic in the ocean than fish. Everywhere you look, politicians dangle from golden corporate strings, their heels dragging in the dirt over vital policy reforms. The entire planet is a delicate, ticking time-bomb, its mechanism wound by unwitting citizens as they go about their daily routines. Far too little value is placed on that most precious of all things... life itself.
The dominant species are humanoid, arrogant, gullible and much like toddlers in their emotional development. They are incredibly self-obsessed and capable of horrific violence and extreme indifference. Their capacity for compassion, kindness and humility is equally great, yet too rarely seen. Citizens of the various societies are carefully divided along many well-tended lines. They are kept distracted and herded as they propel the money-printing machines. Many have become automata themselves, dead expressions and earplugs sealing out the other, twitchy thumbs beaming a never ending stream of information to the all-monitoring Mother Brain and her many business partners. Imagine if one of those citizens suddenly stopped, freshly woken eyes witnessing the bitter truth, which had been staring them in the face all along: We're living a lie!
This bleak setting isn't just a CG backdrop, modelled to create the illusion of depth and texture; a polygon landscape littered with the rehashed tropes and dramatic warnings of classic science fiction. It's Actual-Reality -- The non-virtual life we all share. We're there now, together, in that psychotic mess and we paid for it with our credit cards, our apathy and our love for convenient things in shiny packaging. So finally, it happened. We all woke up in this cliche! The metaverse swallowed itself and now... boom! Here we all are in a real-life, massively-multiplayer sci-fi adventure, where the entire future is at stake.
Remember, you're a player character here, not a bystander, and there are lots more of us on team Earth. We need your help and the clock is ticking! What you do next matters. You have no idea how important you *really* are!
As a species, we're either green and healthy or we're poisoned to death, along with most other life on the planet's surface. It's that simple. We're caretakers of this world and it needs triage, stat. The patient's going to die. We have to wake up, wise up and change, immediately. This is about damage limitation! Our combined primary objective is to change everything, from personal daily habits to corporate practices and governmental policies. We have to put down the weapons, get over politics and egos and work together to prevent global catastrophe. Everyone has to do whatever they can, at every opportunity. We fight for peace by making our daily decisions. Even the tiniest of actions can trigger much larger disruptions. We all have a constant influence on the game world, just by being in the game, so it's important to use that power for good reasons. Exert your influence wisely!
Deep down, you can see that life on Earth is an impossibly rare accident, as we float among the trillions of dusty, barren planets in the cosmos. We're searching for life among the stars while we cull the miraculous life all around us. Yet there is love and beauty and laughter here, amidst the genocide. There is an intricate living ecosystem and it's worth healing, cherishing and protecting. You know. You're a connected part of that ecosystem and your sensors detect serious damage, even if you can't quite pinpoint it precisely. But talk is cheap and hey, saving the world? That's a ridiculously high mountain to climb. How can anyone make a difference? What's the point of even trying? Luckily you're not a defeatist who only thinks about losing. You're a player. You play to win. You let your actions speak for themselves, leaving your tag in the high-score table of human evolution. That's just how a real hero lives, right?
This is not like other games. They were just practice. There's no replay now. No second chance. This is Survival of the Earth, live, and all of your actions have an effect here. They always have! It's permadeath, one life only, so make it count and it's a team-based event. We only win by collaborating and working together. There's a gigantic countdown timer but nobody can read the numbers. We just know they're running out fast.
Okay, that's the situation. Now... it's time to show everyone what you're really made of -- on your side of the screen!
(Extra points will be awarded for style and creativity.)