Afghanistan Video Game: You Win with ‘Hearts and Minds’ Points (Seriously)

I suppose it had to come to this, perhaps the intersection of absurdity and unreality expressed through a video game as the only true way to capture the essence of America’s 15 year+ was in Afghanistan.

I must stress this is a real game. It is not satire or a joke. The game plays you in the role of supreme commander of everything U.S. in Afghanistan and requires you to democratize the country. You do this by bombing the sh*t out of stuff, meeting with elders, pulling out “intelligence” and reconstruction cards, and accomplishing tasks like bringing fresh water to some village to pull it away from Taliban control. There are also drones you control, lots of drones.

Winning is determined by collecting Hearts and Minds Points as determined by the computer based on your actions. The same company makes, and I swear to God this is true, a Vietnam War version of the game that works much the same way.

Here’s a video of some Douchey McDouche playing the game. Be sure to fast forward to 7:10, where he blows away his first Taliban for freedom.

3 thoughts on “Afghanistan Video Game: You Win with ‘Hearts and Minds’ Points (Seriously)”

  1. Looks like an excellent game. I would love to see the antiwar variant:

    *Peace spreads on its own, but Neocons keep bombing radicals into existence.

    *US military spending continues to increase as Neocons argue Americans should cut domestic spending and raise taxes to support greater military expenditure.

    *Neocons insist America must “help the world”, winning American minds over to this belief. All the while, foreigners are praying Americans won’t fall for it.

    *Little societies develop their own order and tradition, only to be freedomised into chaos by Neocons.

    *Bases are built surrounding China and Russia, and then Neocons condemn these two for having built their countries so near America’s bases.

    *Neocons plant fake news trying to convince Americans to support overthrowing foreign leaders.

    *Neocons promise Democracy will bring the End of History, yet they constantly meddle when results aren’t as Neocons desire.

    *After Libya, we get slavery. After Iraq, we get ISIS. After Afghanistan, heroin outbreak.

    A fun parody game could involve playing as a Neocon, with the ultimate goal being to wipeout humanity via nuclear war. Or perhaps the goal should be to place a base in every foreign polity.

  2. This is a rather sad little pile of ones and zeros. I know the gaming industry and I can tell you this is nowhere on anyone’s radar. Not even close.

  3. As a long-time war gamer, I’ve seen this sort of thing before…and I’m nearly positive this is just the game designers trying to come up with victory conditions at a level familiar with typical news consumers and likely wargamers
    It’s not an unreasonable way to frame victory in a game.

    Wargamers are nerds…not neocons.

    At least they didn’t frame victory in blatantly violent terms…there is some incentive to not just kill everything. I would actually give them credit for being relatively nuanced.

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