VMLY&R: Greenpeace’s Los Santos +3°C

Image of city sinking in water

VMLY&R: Greenpeace’s Los Santos +3°C

Tackling the climate crisis in the gaming universe

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Greenpeace, in partnership with VMLY&R, is raising awareness about environmental issues within the popular video game Grand Theft Auto, with the hope that the urgency of climate change will hit home.

Gamers were invited to play in Los Santos, a virtual city that’s almost a mirror image of Los Angeles, under the pressure of extreme weather events.

Los Santos, arguably one of the most well-known cities in the virtual world, saw an increase of the average temperature by three degrees Celsius, highlighting the real-world effects that climate change could have. This rise in temperature made the city practically unplayable.

Climate experts’ predictions were used to turn the digital city into a place that doesn’t resemble the one familiar to gamers. Virtual residents of Los Santos endured floods, dry reservoirs, air pollution, and destruction of fauna and flora. Characters were also required to wear masks, would tire sooner and were required to take part in unique missions with a socio-environmental focus.

The online game featuring the altered map of Los Santos was available to play on the Kings Roleplay server, a location within the game. The campaign also included a webpage where users can discover the effects of climate change on Los Santos, in Brazil and in the real world at large. Upon browsing the page, visitors are kindly asked by Greenpeace to financially support those affected by extreme climate events and sign a petition calling for state governors declare a climate emergency.