This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
"Empire Earth" (EE) is a reactionary game with a comprehensive scope spanning from pre-historic times to the imaginary future of robots and space.
By the arrival of the nano era of robots in one simulation, the enemy attacked the continent we live on together over 10 times with what appeared to be nuclear weapons generating mushroom clouds. There are nuclear-armed bombers available. We're supposed to think that the graphics of mushroom clouds and the like are "cool." Those who have played build-robots-to-shoot-up-the-world games will find that the end of EE contains laser-fighting. Not explained is how the environment survives in any usable condition after all the military attacks unleashed in the game. The effect will be to make players think that nuclear warfare is not that bad, something to take in stride. Also commonplace in EE are military attacks on civilians, the same kind of terrorism we see in "Rise of Nations." On the political spectrum, EE is even more reactionary than "Rise of Nations" and we cannot even reluctantly recommend it. All we can say is that the political distribution of computer games is extremely skewed toward extreme reaction in the form of pure militarism. Most computer games are even more reactionary than EE; however, because EE is well-done technically and artistically, the negative effect of EE may be greater than more reactionary games of lesser appeal.
There are some positive elements to EE; even though, EE is mostly glorification of militarism.
Politically, we see that priests are just recruiters for the nation. They convert military units from the other side in the midst of battle. They also take economically active people and bring them for labor to the priest's empire- nation. Since all nations have to provide food for the generation of citizens, the effect of successful priests is to steal food and labor from other countries. We appreciate that the flim-flam aspect of religion is not principal in this game: realities of power and organization shine through--not a conflict of ideas that pretends it should be taken seriously.
Economically, we again like how this and many other sci-fi games do without the illusions of money and markets. At the beginning of time, people gather food and wood. Iron, gold and stone become important. Then only after a certain physical existence has established itself, research becomes more important and a university can appear. Yet in this game at least, researchers do not exist without food and their buildings require construction and building materials, something that many today seem to forget in discussion of economics.
When MIM speaks of capitalism's "productive sector," we can think of the farming, wood, stone, iron and gold collecting going on in EE. The unproductive sector includes the university and military construction. As the imperialists today are proving with their "predator" drone weapons, there is a fantasy how robots take over most of the fighting in wars. The development of technology allows for ever better robot fighting. On the other hand, these robots are quite likely to shoot humyns from the opponents' teams when they pass by.
The hero players who are the best combatants for most of the game carry famous names like "Napoleon." Stalin's right hand Molotov was the ultimate hero in the simulation I ran, as he the last humyn hero fighter and the last so-called cyborg, which also bears the name "Molotov."
If the player-emperor stands by idly, many subjects will die under attack by the computer opponents. Much of the game consists in rushing about to deliver units to various places and instructing them how to attack or defend. Time also goes into arranging production of military units.
Right now there is very little in the pc game market between non-militarist exploration games that rely on fantasy and militarist games that rely on a different sort of tension. There is "American Farmer," "Capitalism II" and a handful of others that are neither fantasy role-playing nor total militarism. "Empire Earth" is definitely more social than most tank games where military units appear unencumbered by an economy, politics or society. It's about time the gaming industry created some games where moving military units was not the only point or the main point.
If people can rush about trying to use military units to defend themselves they can also rush about sending units or organizing production to stop starvation, which in real life is a bigger killer than war. Game-makers have become adept at depicting battlefield deaths, so they should do the same for starvation deaths. Games can also arrange to have units go here and there to save people from simple or more complex medical problems. Failing to solve problems can also lead to other political problems as in Superpower 2.
Some games such as "Superpower" give people a general sense of how the citizens of a country are doing, but if people want the excitement of rushing fire trucks, that can exist for almost any social problem. Creating such a game would be a good way station between pure strategy games and the mind-dulling role playing games.
Military conflict is not the only urgent problem in the world, but judging by 90% of games marketed for the pc and Xbox type of platform, one would never know it. The preponderance of militarist games is proof of the decadence of our current economic system-- that the excitement and sales of video games stem from killing and that is all. The game-makers and players cannot seem to get a thrill from anything else because of the negative underlying influence of imperialism as a system of social organization.