Watch: Fallout 4 poses question, could we survive in a vault?

11 Nov 2015

While gamers are locking themselves inside to play Fallout 4, a game about escaping from captivity in a fallout shelter, scientists are posing the question of whether society could actually live in a vault?

The release of Fallout 4 has spurred on a new revival in apocalypse survival discussions that are usually restricted to major news events or the latest ‘factual’ survival programme on the Discovery Channel, and now bona fide scientists are getting on board.

For those unfamiliar with the Fallout series, the player typically plays a character who has been living in a vault deep beneath the Earth following a devastating nuclear war decades before.

Those living in the vaults would be in a self-sustaining world of nuclear power, canned food and, sadly, cruel and unusual social experiments laid out by the vaults’ operators, Vault-Tec.

While the player in the series is typically escaping one of the vaults, much has been detailed in the series of what life is like in these places cut off from the outside world.

If there isn’t societal strife among the population, there are issues over food and safety, with many eventually forced to flee the safety they supposedly provide in search of resources.

Of course, this is a video game and a video game that takes place in a world of androids and portable fusion energy, so it’s hardly reminiscent of real life, or is it?

To coincide with the game’s launch, the American Chemical Society decided to ask a number of its scientists well-versed in human survival what our chances would be if we were to live in the world of Fallout 4.

Fallout shelter image via Steve Snodgrass/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic