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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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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