Videogames save the world

Casual-game developer Midori has announced Global Warning, an eco-friendly videogame for PC and Mac. Designed to raise awareness of global warming and the harmful side effects of man-made pollution, your mission is to save the planet by stopping a dump company that's plonked a landfill right next to your in-game home.

Will it work? Is this kind of grass-roots freedom-fighting an untapped aspect of casual gaming? We doubt it. But, in tribute to Global Warning and Recycle, here are five other present-day issues that could perhaps be solved by videogames.

Endless spats between spiritual factions, threatening to ultimate escalate into belief-propelled warfare that ends our civilisation? The solution is an easy one - every religion gets its own MMO, one that completely embodies its ideals and commandments. Then we can really see who's got the best god(s).

Nope, it's not what you're thinking. We're not going to suggest that war should take place on the virtual battlefield. It should take place in Everybody Loves Katamari. Each side elects a champion. Whoever rolls up the biggest ball of trash within 10 minutes is the winner. No-one dies. And onlookers have a good time.

Anti-social behaviour
Quite straightforwardly, if more kids played Animal Crossing, fewer of them would grow into sneering, monosyllabic bus-shelter goons, bumbling into a life of insolvency, crap manners and throwing bottles at things that don't belong to them. Yup.

Big Brother
Forget reality TV, how about virtuality TV? Bit Brother, even. Populated by personalities guaranteed to give you stuff to gossip about the following day. Plus, being artificial constructs, they'd not have any seedy pasts or need for quick-buck interviews, freeing up our newspapers for actual news once more.

Job dissatisfaction
Replace dreary work documents with a new skin that represents them as exciting, colourful puzzle games with catchy music, and you've got a workforce that's just itching to commute to a soul-crushing 9-5 job every day. Actually, we shouldn't kid - this one's very, very likely to come true. Eeek.