As evidence of climate change becomes more apparent and symptoms worsen, organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warn that the final window for reversing the crisis is quickly passing. However, the true ramifications of the global emergency may remain vague and theoretical for many. To supplement its advocacy, Greenpeace Brazil teamed with agency VMLY&R to visualize a potentially catastrophic future in Grand Theft Auto.
“Los Santos +3℃” is a virtual depiction of the game’s iconic Los Angeles-inspired city experiencing the real consequences of climate change that face our planet. Floods, pollution, dying vegetation and depleted reservoirs plague the modified map that’s playable on the Kings Roleplay server through February 25th.
Player characters will also be affected by the conditions, fatiguing quickly and requiring masks to withstand the harsh elements. Unique in-game missions are meant to illustrate what could become Earth’s physical reality if action is not taken.
“The first step in engaging people is to make them understand the problem,” said Rafael Pitanguy, CCO of VMLY&R Sao Paulo, in a statement. “‘Los Santos +3ºC’ will allow the player to experience what is already happening in different parts of the world, but which, many times, is still not directly related to the climate crisis. We hope that the relationship between these two themes will gain strength with the game.”
A campaign extension of the Greenpeace website provides educational resources for players and allows them to sign a petition to encourage action and donate to the organization.
“We cannot forget that it is the role of States to create adaptation measures and develop structural actions to face the climate crisis, and we need to pressure them to fulfill their role,” said Rodrigo Jesus, spokesman for Greenpeace Brazil, in a statement. “With this GTA version, we want to make young people aware that it is in a world like this that we will live if our rulers don't take the necessary measures urgently. Therefore, we need to press for Brazilian states to declare a climate emergency and to bring solutions in constant dialogue with civil society.”
Greenpeace and VMLY&R are not the first to collaborate on social campaigns in Grand Theft Auto. Last year, a campaign from Ogilvy and Pfizer Brazil brought COVID vaccines into the game.