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September 12: A Toy World
October 2, 2003 3:16 PM   Subscribe

September 12: A Toy World
"September 12 is a free Shockwave game where players try to solve the terrorist problem - a sort of editorial cartoon rendered in simple simulation." It's not really much of a simulation, and the 'argument' is simplistic to the point of inanity. But as a new medium, interesting. (via gamegirladvance)
posted by jcruelty (18 comments total)

not what i thought at first, and it took me a second to figure out what 'the point' was, but kind of interesting.
posted by efalk at 3:25 PM on October 2, 2003

Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
posted by ehintz at 3:35 PM on October 2, 2003

That was fun.

I don't think that's the intended reaction, but hey. From the crosshair, I'd been thinking you'd be using a sniper rifle, and the bad things would happen when you hit a civillian. Since they were missiles, I just exploded buildings for a while.
posted by kavasa at 3:46 PM on October 2, 2003

Things I learned from this game:

1. Terrorism is fun!
2. Real terrorists don't shoot people.
3. You have to lead the kiddies to hit 'em.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:31 PM on October 2, 2003

kavasa: When you kill a civilian, nearby civilians turn into terrorists.

jacquilynne: The whole lead-time and splash-damage issue gave me a similar reaction: hey, I want better weapons! For some reason, I don't think that was the reaction that the game was intended to provoke.

As a game, what would've been more interesting is to keep the dead civilian = more terrorists gimmick, but have the terrorists shoot at the civilians, and nearby enemy terrorists kill any terrorist that killed a civilian. And then assign them red team vs blue team. Then hit concentrations of opposing team members with a missile and try not to kill any civilians, or just stand back and watch them go at each other (cf. The Sims). To make it more "realistic", just stack the teams asymmetrically and give missiles only to the larger team.

Oh wait, this was just an interactive editorial cartoon. Right. BF1942, anyone?
posted by DaShiv at 5:05 PM on October 2, 2003

Bah, when you kill a terrorist, civilians become terrorists in the game, even the little kids. I created a kill zone in one of the corners, I would kill a terrorist, 5 civies would come over, mourn, turn into terrorists, and I would kill them as they converted. Pointless.

It would have been cool to see what other options would have done, like withdrawing troops, or using sanctions or some sort of political pressure. Maybe sending teachers or missionaries or something.
posted by insomnyuk at 5:30 PM on October 2, 2003

Regarding splash damage and better weapons:
I want weapons with more splash damage - e.g. nukes.
Then I'd forget about trying to hit terrorists, and just level the whole place with one blow, civilians and all.
No more civilians means no more terrorists, after a while.

Also, that dog is terribly hard to kill.

But seriously, I think this is quite funny and illustrates a point that should be obvious: You can't stop people from hating you by trying to kill them.
posted by spazzm at 5:49 PM on October 2, 2003

That bloody re-building was annoying, something in me wanted to level the whole place. Yeah I got the editorial point but when I play a game I want to destroy stuff...
posted by meech at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2003

"that dog is terribly hard to kill"

I didn't even realize there was one, so of course I had to go hunt him down. Got him on the first shot, and didn't take out any civilians with him.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:26 PM on October 2, 2003

I think we can all agree that the best way to win the war on terrorism is to kill all terrorists.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:50 PM on October 2, 2003

"kavasa: When you kill a civilian, nearby civilians turn into terrorists."

Gosh, really? I hadn't noticed that, much less expected it to happen before I had even clicked the link.
posted by kavasa at 11:06 PM on October 2, 2003

They all look like ants from up here...
posted by Samizdata at 3:52 AM on October 3, 2003

The bogus things about the game are:

1/ Killing terrorists by themselves still spawns terrorists.
2/ Terrorists are portrayed as passive entities, almost the same as civilians, which they aren't.
3/ There's no depiction of the terrorists killing civilians, which is what they do.
4/ There ARE more accurate weapons in real life (both literally as well as figuratively).
5/ It's too much fun, and not disgusting enough to kill people from this god-like perspective.
posted by jpburns at 5:49 AM on October 3, 2003

kavasa: I misread your comment, thinking that you were asking what (instead of "the") bad things happen if you hit a civilian. Mea culpa.
posted by DaShiv at 7:07 AM on October 3, 2003

"There's no depiction of the terrorists killing civilians, which is what they do."

So if the USA kills more civilians in a given locale (say Nicaragua, Houndouras, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. etc.) does that mean we're the terrorists?

I guess that doesn't fit if you use the military defintion though:
"terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant (1) targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

So if you declare yourself a nation, you can't be involved in terrorism . . . whew! I'm sure glad about that!
posted by ahimsakid at 11:20 AM on October 3, 2003

So if the USA kills more civilians in a given locale does that mean we're the terrorists?

Yes. Fortunately(?) we've got the biggest guns, so we get to be or not be whatever the hell we say we are. Or aren't.

I need another drink.
posted by majcher at 11:55 AM on October 3, 2003

So if the USA kills more civilians in a given locale (say Nicaragua, Houndouras, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. etc.) does that mean we're the terrorists?

Do you mean, is it different when the United States (or any nation) attempts some military action, to further their purposes, and accidentally (or incidentally) kills some civilians, as opposed to terrorists whose intent is to kill civilians in order to further their purposes?

Yes, it is different. The US doesn't set out to kill civilians, it's an unfortunate product of military action. Terrorist mean to kill civilians, because they're uncivilized bastards. The nation that kills civilians are civilized bastards, I suppose. It's a failure to resort to military action, but I don't for one minute believe that the US military wants to kill noncombatants...
posted by jpburns at 12:54 PM on October 3, 2003

So the shock and awe campaign was directed only to shock or awe the combatants? And it was just poor dumb luck that 1500+ civilians in Bagdad were collaterally damged (i.e., killed)?
Do you seriously believe that there was not a political message in our bombing? Do you not believe that the authors of the Project for a New American Century intended to shock and awe the world with the audacity of our pre-emptive war? Is it really okay to kill hundreds of civilians on the suspicion that their leaders are a threat to us . . . so long as we don't actually target them?
Yes, the winners write the history, and we may never be indicted for depraved indifference, but do we even care how many we kill?
“We don’t do body counts”
General Tommy Franks, US Central Command
posted by ahimsakid at 2:56 PM on October 3, 2003

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