Monday, April 24, 2006

The Human Factor

A friend of mine pointed me at an interesting article from the weekend:
A video game that seeks to make peace, not war
'PeaceMaker' simulates Israeli-Palestinian conflict in all its complexity
In "PeaceMaker," players choose between the role of an Israeli prime minister or a Palestinian Authority president. They make policy decisions, communicate with the international community and monitor opinion polls while coping with "black events" -— bursts of violence that threaten to throw the game off course.
... okay....

What the article doesn't say is how you're supposed to win a game like this. Establish peace, maybe? The truth is that no game can actually simulate what goes on the middle east unless they hit it by pure, unadulterated luck. No one can actually predict what humans will do under duress, no matter which scenario is most likely. The thing about the odds is, that one chance in a million is still a chance.

When you factor humans and their whims into the situation, you have to know that you can never predict exactly what will happen. After all, if this kind of thing were predictable (in the purest sense of the word), someone would have worked it out by now. Seriously.

In the end, I'm not saying that this game is pointless. Teaching people about tough decisions and their consequences is worthwhile, it really is. But as you know, the lack of winning ability in a game really brings me down.

No comments: