The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, May 28, 2004

I Want a Real War Sim 

From David Wong... this is supposed to be a joke... and I did laugh so hard I cried... but its also freekishly close to reality when you make comparisons to the Iraq war. David Wong describes The Ultimate War Sim. I'll give you the highlights:

I want a War Sim...

1. ...where I spend two hours pushing across a map to destroy a "nuclear missile silo," only to find out after the fact that it was just a missile-themed orphanage.

I want little celebrities to show up on the scene and do interviews over video of charred teddy bears, decrying my unilateral attack. I want congressional hearings demanding answers to these atrocities.

2. On the very next level I want to lose half of my units because another "orphanage" turned out to be a NOD ambush site. I want another round of hearings asking why I didn't level that orphanage as soon as I saw it, including tearful testimony from a slain soldier's daughter who is now, ironically, an orphan.

3. Every War Sim has a "Fog of War" that obscures the map in darkness until units scout the landscape. Well, I want a hazy, brown "Fog of Bullshit" layer below that. I want it to make a village of farmers look like a secret armed militia, I want it to show me a massive enemy fortress where there is actually an Aspirin factory. I want to never know for sure which it was, even after the game is over.
...
7. I want my Mission Objectives to change every 30 seconds, without anyone letting me know. I want little talking heads to pop up on my screen - commanders, politicians, allies, military intelligence - each giving me different sets of victory parameters, all of them conflicting and many of them written in bullshit ass-covering doublespeak.

Objectives:
Pacify the insurgency with decisive force while minimizing casualties to both sides as not to strengthen the insurgency movement, ensuring that no non-combatants are killed and that all combatants posing as non-combatants are eliminated with extreme prejudice while winning popular support among religious factions who believe your very drawing of breath is a grievous sin against their god.

Do not offend the sensibilities of the locals who fear technology and believe women should remain hooded and submissive to their men. Assisting you in this mission will be Tanya, wo will be flying in on her jetpack.
...
17. In my Public Support display let me find out that the news media has run, in the same magazine, one story blasting us for going to war for minerals and another story blasting us for not acting on the continuing mineral shortage back home.

There should also be simultaneous stories about the outrageous expense of the war effort, and another about how the troops are under-funded and under-equipped. Set it so that I somehow lose Public Support points with each story.
...
19. Now, beating the game will depend on how I play to Ivy League politicians who think a gun is something you hang over your mantlepiece to be occasionally dusted by the maid in your Connecticut Summer home. And when it comes to that point in the game where this panel demands the truth (and says they're "entitled" to the truth) I want a little drop-down menu that will let me tell them that they, in fact, can't handle the truth.

With a couple of clicks (or maybe a Hotkey) I'll tell them that we live in a world that has walls and that those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. I will tell them that I have a greater responsibility than they can possibly fathom. They weep for mistreated prisoners and curse the military. They have that luxury. They have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that the naked human pyramid and homoerotic torture, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to them, saves lives.

I'll tell them that they don't want the truth, because deep down, in places they don't talk about at parties, they want me on that wall. They need me on that wall. I'll tell them that I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to men who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it.

I'd rather they just said "thank you" and went on their way. Otherwise, I'd suggest they pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what they think they're entitled to.

Oh yeah... he has screen captures of the game in action to. Read the whole laugh out loud and then cry because its not as fake as it seems story.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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