I think that all sane human beings can agree that war sucks. People die, cities get destroyed, and regimes topple. No matter how you slice it, some population becomes widely inconvenienced, no matter the cause. That being said, war wouldn’t exist if it weren’t a necessary part of civilization. It is just as unavoidable as rage quitting after losing 17 times to that boss in the latest Final Fantasy title.
Most people, soldiers included, dread the thought of going to war. That fear is only conquered by sheer courage and a strong sense of duty. Otherwise, there are a number of things that could occur during battle that are simply too much to bear. You could lose comrades or sustain disabilititing injuries. Though death is an obvious fear, some can’t handle the thought of taking another human’s life. War is a terrible burden on the brave men and women who serve their countries.War is a terrible burden on the brave men and women who serve their countries.
The strange thing, however, is how this all changes once it is only occuring on a screen before us. Don’t believe me? Load up a team deathmatch in ANY war based first person shooter, and see how bloodthirsty and creative these players can get when dealling death upon the enemy team.
I’m no stranger to the online FPS craze. I’ve played the multiplayer mode of every Call of Duty title to include the feature, and I’m just now getting into the Battlefield series. And with every iteration, I cant help but spend days honing my skills to a point where I become as efficient in my style of play as possible.
Something about going up against real people, and pitting my skills up against someone else’s gets my blood pumping more than any scripted run in with a game’s AI. I take pleasure in knowing that with each kill, someone is cursing at thier screen, and actively hunting me down. And I KNOW I’m not the only one who enjoys this. All you have to do is listen to the headset chatter during each match, and you’ll know that teamwork and strategy take a definitive backseat to howls of maniacal laughter, and hearty helpings of terrible references to maternal intercourse.
And no matter how bad you’ve been beaten, or how many times you’ve been tea bagged, you always go back for more. FPS players make up a huge chunk of the gamer population, simply because of the Player vs. Player thrill. Call of Duty is still one of the highest demanded games, even though with each release, everyone knows that they will be getting pretty much the exact same experience, with a shiny coat of paint (and MAYBE a cool tomahawk).
Now, why is this at all relevant to the horrors of war? Because I believe I’ve seen our future as a species. With the unsurprising rise of technology, human kind is getting better and better at mastering the virtual world. What if one day in the not so unfathomable future, instead of deploying our troops overseas, we simply rally them to their specially designed WAR consoles?
Instead of innocent civilians huddling together in darkness as air raid sirens go off in the distance, they sit comfortably at home and get treated to an exiting battle? That’s right, war in the future should be a game. And It would be awesome.
Now, for all my readers out there, I know what you’re envisioning. Chaos, risk, lagging, hacking, and a general lack of a point. But I’ve planned for all that. WAR (working title) will be a game that has to be properly done in order to achieve its purpose. Fairness is key to its structure, in order to maintain the balance of power.
That is why, each country will have a troop count and military assets equal to what they had at the end of the last physical war. Of course troop abilities/ skills will still vary based on which branch of military they are from, and military assets range from rifle scopes to drones to nuclear arms and defenses. Now These numbers can only be changed 3 ways. The first way is by population growth. A country’s troop count will increase / decrease in conjunction with its actual population. The second way is through microtransactions.
Every country has the ability to purchase upgrades to military assets with real world money just as they would have had to fund the actual research and development. All profits from any purchases made for WAR will be used to maintain the servers (more on those in a bit) and fund world charities. Lastly, after each war is waged, the death count and assets lost are remain lost. With me so far?
The next most important feature of WAR will be the virtual world it takes place in. Our world. The map will be an exact virtual replica of the world we inhabit down to every last mud hut. The map will be an exact virtual replica of the world we inhabit… Why? Because it helps to keep track of who is invading who, and what ground has already been taken. In order to relieve whichever supercomputers will be running the session, only areas with active troop movement will be in play at any given time.
With that in mind, at any time, any country can enter a game of WAR and aid whichever side they please. Deployment zones must remain realistic, and within the means of the country in question. Generals can relay strategic information to their virtual troops or request help from other countries from private WAR rooms in the real world.
Though gameplay wouldn’t be much different from any FPS on the market today, just picture it on a much larger scale, with completely different gear, and uneven teams, Much like real war. To handle the burdens of such a game, I feel like all of the UN headquarters should house dedicated interconnected WAR servers around the globe to keep the network strong. The United Nations should be tasked with this, because of the odd nature of WAR. This way, when nations meet and discuss issues, they can declare WAR and handle the terms on the spot.
Before a war is waged or upon entry, each country must state the terms of their victory. If that country should win, then those terms must be met at all costs. The terms can be simple like land claims, or more complex like ousting a current regime. Punishment for disobeying the terms of WAR have to be strict and severe and though I have yet to come up with anything fitting, they should be agreed upon by the collective of world leaders.
Whether its depletion of allocated troops or by an unconditional surrender, The game of WAR will end with zero casualties, and more than likely a few thousand rage quits. But that will be the extent of the damage done. Hell, not only will it remove the looming depression that accompanies war, but it could probably fetch more views than the Olympics, too! So there you have it.
Hopefully one day, I can eagerly serve my country by picking up my controller, and doing what only comes natural to me now. If not in my lifetime, I at least hope that future generations will see the benefit of my WAR game and how it can change the world for good.
Or make one bitchin’ video game.