June 13th, 2012
A British man who goes by the pseudonym Lycerius has reportedly played Civilization II for 10 straight years, just to see what a simulated future might look like. The result?
"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation," he said. "Roughly 90% of the world's population has died either from nuclear annihilation, or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm."
Not only that, but almost 2,000 simulated years later, the world is deadlocked in constant war by three powers: The Celts, The Vikings, and The Americans.
Coincidentally, Reddit readers who popularizd the story were quick to note the similarities to George Orwell's 1984, in which the fictional Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia are also locked in eternal war.
Why would anyone spend so much time on a single game? "I thought that it might be interesting to see just how far into the future I could get and see what the ramifications would be," Lycerius responded. "Naturally I play other games and have a life, but I often return to this game when I'm not doing anything and carry on."
For the record, if you really want to know what the future might look like, read Aldous Huxley's dystopian interpretation. I think it's more spot on than Orwell's, which demands more work than necessary in oppressing people (whereas Huxley's subjects willingly drug themselves into submission and apathy -- more here).
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