The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation.There are 3 remaining super nations in the year 3991 A.D, each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands.
For those of you unfamiliar with Civilization II, it’s a computer game that simulates the development of human civilization as players make different moves. It isn’t a particularly rigorous simulation of how the world works, but then again, what model truly is? And though the game’s author himself was reportedly taken aback at how dismal a future his little game predicted, we at Via Meadia are not necessarily surprised. For any game that accurately models human behavior on a large scale—be it Diplomacy, Civilization, or Settlers of Catan—usually hinges on the fact that there are overwhelming incentives for individual players to stab each other in the back and generally behave more like Machiavelli than St. Francis.One interesting fact from the game: after thousands of years featuring massive ecological damage, no global treaty for the elimination of greenhouse gases seems to have sprung up to avert the cataclysms depicted in the game. In this respect at least, we think the game’s designers got it right; some kinds of international cooperation are just not in the cards.