Monday, August 14, 2006

Geography and Games: Conflict


Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator is a computer game from 1990 but still is very timely.

The game's simple background story is that you are replacing the former Prime Minister of Israel who was assassinated. The purpose of the game is to keep Israel independent, not get overthrown but an insurgency, and topple all neighboring countries via invasion, insurgency, or have another nation conquer. One can buy an army, police the Palestinians, and work on Israel's nuclear program.

The game is a fun diversion (any round can be completed in ten minutes) but there are some geopolitical problems. If one gives the Palestinians independence the "Palestinian problem" is permanently solved. No more PLO, Hamas, or Islamic Jihad. If it was that simple I think we could have solved Middle East violence long ago. Also, I doubt it is possible that Israel-Arab relations could improve as is possible in the game. Countless times I have used an Israeli-Iraqi alliance to bring down Syria.

That said Conflict is good clean fun. Can you nuke Egypt and not have things spiral out of control into World War III? Try out for yourself! The game and manual can be downloaded here.

2 comments:

nick said...

Thanks for the comment! As an elementary-school winner of 4 geography bees (and terrible failure at the state level), I greatly enjoy your website. Keep up the good work.

Dr. Goulu said...

Check http://www.peacemakergame.com for a much more complex simulation game on the same subject, however with less purely geographic considerations