Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are videogame programmers the only ones teaching our kids the truth about free trade and foreign policy?

One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and dive into a good strategy game. Games like Civilization, Age of Empires and others have sucked millions of dollars and hours of time from adults and kids in this country.

For someone that has never played any of these games, it’s easy to think these games and the people that play them are brainless. The truth is the complete opposite. These games not only test your wits but also put you into a virtual world where you get to sit in your seat and relive any world leader and period in history. If you ever thought you could do a better job taking a nation from nothing to a respected world power then a game like Sid Meier’s Civilization is a great thing to fire up on the computer.

Games like Civilization will quickly squash any dream you may have of surviving in the world by being always nice and hoping other leaders will do the same. As much as people scream Iraq is all about the oil, try being the nation in the game that enters the age of combustion and not have any oil in your territory to fill your needs. At that point you have to hope someone will trade it to you and when they don’t, you either have to go take it or be happy with watching your civilization be taken advantage of by the ones that do or worse be taken over.

What always amazes me about these games is the care that its developers take to create the most historical and realistic situation for the player. These games not only entertain but also educate the player on what works and doesn’t.

Another game that just came out last week, called 1701AD, places the game in the era of colonization. You start off by being dispatched by your queen with gold and resources to land on a far off island so it can be colonized. The goal is to not only grow your colony into a thriving city but also colonize other surrounding Islands while fighting off other nations and pirates and if you have guts attempt to claim independence. What amazed me about the game is the detail the developers put into its diplomacy and trading system. It’s obvious the developers know everything there is to know about free trade and do a great job incorporating it into the game. The theory of “comparative advantage” rings loud as your island might only be suitable to grow hops and tobacco but lack the ability to mine iron. Free trade is imperative to growing your nation, as been the case since the 1700’s, hence the title.

As I watch Democrats like Schumer attack free trade and say they’re sorry things like NAFTA ever happened, it becomes obvious video game programmers know more about history and foreign policy then our representatives. They would do our country a service by firing one up every now and then.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home