Season: A Letter To The Future Is About Climate Disaster

Season: A Letter To The Future Is About Climate Disaster
Season: A Letter To The Future Is About Climate Disaster

Season: A Letter to the Future is a relatively short game where you play as a young woman tasked with recording the world before the “season ends”. What the season ending will bring is never clearly defined, but it’s implied things are about to change drastically, possibly meaning a cataclysmic event. You are meant to explore the world and memorialise things in a scrapbook that will be left for people in the next season. You take photos, record sounds, sketch things, and jot down your thoughts about what you witness. In the future, an archivist examines your records.

The world outside is unfamiliar, since this woman has never left her home village of Caro, isolated high up in the mountains. You leave, grab a bike, and start exploring the world. The moment you leave the confines of the village, everything looks wild, as if reclaimed by nature. The world is peppered with ruins, things half-visible and half-buried. The first vista you encounter overlooks a flooded plain, dotted with cranes and toppled machinery partially submerged in the water. An abandoned village, built on stilts, surrounds cranes in the distance.


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To the protagonist, this machinery is “ancient technology” they learned about in school. The game itself doesn’t give a clear indication of when it’s set, but if it is indeed set in our world, it seems pretty far in the future. The season before was a war, but it’s unclear if it’s war that left this world in ruins, or something that happened before. My theory – climate change. Climate disaster, specifically.

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In the game, a valley has been evacuated because the dam protecting it is too old, so a group of people called the “Gray Hands” choose to break it first. About this plotline, Season’s narrative director, Kevin Sullivan, told Digital Trends, “Our possibly too strong ability to change the environment without a grasp of what we’re doing sometimes feels relevant for something that has some kind of latent anxiety about climate change built into it.”

I don’t know if the game intended to allude to climate change as a major feature of the landscape, but that’s definitely how I saw it. It’s hard not to when you see floods and abandoned homes, and the entire plot of the game is recording a world as it is before something undefined but definitely terrible happens to it. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of what we’ve documented in our lifetimes will survive the eventual environmental collapse that will happen if we keep going through the world the way we have been. One day, will someone wander among the ruins of construction machinery we see every day, marvelling at it like it’s a relic? Will there be anybody in the future to see what we’ve already recorded? Will there be anything left to record?

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