What happens if you play the same video game - Civilization - for 10 years straight?
Posted by David Brooks | Sunday, June 17, 2012
This is a double-redirect of a post, because I'm pointing to a Braniac post that talks about a Reddit thread. But the Braniac discussion is so good that I couldn't bypass it.
I never played the computer game "Civilization" - I was a "Myst" man - but apparently one person played the same game for 10 years straight to see what happened. Civilization is one of those no-obvious-ending games in which you build an alternate-history Earth, play it turn by turn as the decades go past, and see what happens.
As Braniac (a blog run by the Boston Globe, currently written by a grad student in Harvard's English department) reports here:
The game world, he writes, which has advanced to the year 3991 A.D., is now "a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation," and global warming and "dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands." For 1,700 years, the world has been locked in a horrific nuclear stalemate over what little habitable territory remains.
Let's hope this is not a successfully predictive computer program.
Make sure to read the whole Braniac piece; it's quite good.