"War! Age of Imperialism"
The title of this game caught MIM's eye. It will be good for young teens, as a souped up version
of the old boardgame "Risk." Sophisticated gamers will find this game lacking in realism. It's just
too simple of a program by today's standards for economic/military simulation games.
For young people, "War! Age of Imperialism" is a step up from "Risk" or any joystick fight
game. Sadly, even this relatively simple game may seem overwhelming to people new to
computers or too distracted by pursuit of shopping in the mall.
Probability plays a more elaborate role in this game than in "Risk." The computer repeatedly
calculates the probability of beating a throw of 5 dice. The more money paid, the higher the
probability of beating the computer's throw of 5 dice as to whether or not the player will have a
There is also a step up from "Risk," because players get a vague sense that the economy is related
to factories, resource development and technology. Although "War!" forces the player to expand
economically or die, it does not show much of the intrinsic nature of economic motivation behind
imperialism. Part of the reason for that is that all countries start out equally undeveloped.
Although very simple, "War!" contains the recent innovation of most games that add national and
class struggles, as asked for by earlier MIM reviews and other consumers of course. In "War!",
"natives" of all countries may fight the invader. Other than military force, the player has no
choice but to use money for "Westernization" of the natives. Otherwise, the natives rebel and
throw out their oppressors. In "War!", the more "Westernized" the country, the fewer the natives
that fight the invaders. That view fits in with the Christian idea that their religion is superior to
that of others and needs to be exported through Western culture. Once "exposed" to this culture
as bourgeois sociology and "conservatism" and "Liberalism" say, people will accept its
We communists always accept the superior and discard the inferior. That's what any progressive
does. Since the united $tates has the world's highest imprisonment rate and England the highest
in Europe, we may discard Western ideas of "freedom" quite safely. Having just spent $120
billion to oust one petty criminal (Saddam Hussein) that they themselves put in place and armed,
the u.$. imperialists are also in no position to brag about how they see crime or spending money.
There are many things from Western culture that have to be understood and utilized. The
oppression and exploitation the Third World can do without.
If we grant that imperialist country people are going to spend time at leisure, then in the pre-pc
days, they did not get the chance to play sophisticated games like "War!" "Risk" was the closest
thing available. Today we can go to the shopping mall, pick up a game like "War!" and then drop
it as a stepping stone to better games. On the one hand, it may seem that shopping/malls and
leisure time distract from work or "productive" life at every turn. On the other hand, bourgeois
culture has its own dialectic. Even in leisure time, not everything is going backwards.