Decade-long Civilization II match offers grim view of the future

decade long civilization ii game offers grim view of the future civ2

Reddit user “Lycerius” has been playing the same Civilization II match since 2002. Normally this would just be a bizarre story of one man’s dedication to his favorite classic game — something to be smirked at before moving on — but in this case it’s a harrowing look at one possible reality as envisioned by the gold standard of turn-based strategy gaming.

Describing the world of 3991 as “a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation,” Lycerius explains that only three nations remain, locked in an eternal war that so far has raged for over 1700 years. The planet’s surface is largely irradiated swamp land due to the proliferation of nuclear weapons between the three factions, and global warming which has melted the polar ice caps. While the threat of mutual annihilation keeps nuclear weaponry in check in our time (and in most Civilization matches), Lycerius claims that with each of the world’s powers regularly detonating nukes anyway, no one side has any reason to stop nuking the others, and thus nuclear war has continued unabated for centuries. However, since every major city is equipped with missile defense systems, these nukes are only really effective against mobile armies, leaving the areas outside of cities virtually uninhabitable and preventing any one side from gaining an advantage over the other via traditional military means.

More depressingly, Lycerius claims that he was forced to convert his nation into a mandatory Communist state simply to keep the war effort going. The other two nations are likewise locked into a state of stagnation, using all of their resources to maintain the three-way stalemate, lest any of the other powers attain an upper hand.

In truth, this is far from crucial, world-changing news, but between his Reddit post, the images Lycerius has captured, and this subreddit forum created by Reddit users in an effort to crowdsource ideas to end the centuries-old war, the entire tale is a beautiful example of how a game can create engaging scenarios far beyond what its developers ever intended. Plus, it’s a really dark look at mankind’s possible future that simultaneously serves as a reminder of the kind of tension we faced only theoretically during the Cold War. It’s fascinating reading, if you’ve got time to kill.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Gaming

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Gaming

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.
Gaming

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.
Gaming

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.
Deals

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.