Is it a “game” if there is only one possible outcome? Sounds more like propaganda to me. Check out this “projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf”:
- Toppling Saddam Hussein is in the war simulation game “Gulf War 2” is the easy part. Coping with what comes next is more difficult.
Players assume the role of President Bush in the online game, receiving regular briefings from caricatures of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
It starts with Baghdad’s quick fall but then proceeds to an Iraqi anthrax attack on Israel, a retaliatory nuclear strike, revolt in Saudi Arabia, and a Kurdish coup in northern Iraq.
Once Saddam Hussein’s body is found, players are asked to select one of three look-alike successors, who soon requires military backing to fend off an anxious Iran.
There are also anti-American uprisings in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Pakistan, which lead eventually to nuclear warheads being smuggled to militant groups. [Reuters]
This is the “most likely scenario,” according to the “game’s” creator, Dermot O’Connor – he forgot the asteroid knocking California into the Pacific, and the AIDS mutation taking out the world’s urban centers.
- O’Connor, a computer animator who moved from Ireland to California three years ago, drew his source material from interviews and reports in the Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian newspaper in Britain and the Australian Sunday Herald.
The game appears interactive but leads players down a set path, designed by O’Connor to highlight the risks of war.
“There is only one deliberate outcome. It didn’t make sense to give people the idea that they could avoid the worst,” he said in an interview.
Um, that’s your opinion, bud; only I guess it isn’t, really:
- O’Connor said “a constant pressure and drum beat” for war [there’s that “drum beat for war” again] was clouding American perspectives on what could happen after an initial conflict and he felt the “worst case scenario” charted in his game offered an accurate reflection of the potential perils of attacking Iraq.
“I don’t see how (the Bush administration) can do it without creating a mess,” he said. “I just don’t see that the war is worth the risks.”
All of a sudden a boatload of qualifiers are added: “could” “potential perils” “a mess” “I just don’t see.” This is fear-mongering of the worst sort.
Imagine how the anti-war crowd would respond if the game were rigged in the other direction: easy quick victory, new democratic government for Iraq beginning a domino effect of democratization for the entire Muslim world, Israeli-Palestinian peace, the drying up of wells of support for radical Islamic fundamentalism and terror. I see some version of this as vastly more likely than this pud’s scenario. I can hear the outraged cries of “stifling dissent.”