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World Is 'Hellish Nightmare' In Player's 10-Year Long Strategy Game

If you're a fan of <em>Waterworld</em>, then the vision of the future in the Civilization II game played by "Lycerius" may be to your liking. (Kevin Costner in a scene from that 1995 movie.)
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If you're a fan of Waterworld, then the vision of the future in the Civilization II game played by "Lycerius" may be to your liking. (Kevin Costner in a scene from that 1995 movie.)

"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." Ninety percent of the population has died from nuclear annihilation or famine. "Three superpowers have been locked in a 1,700-year war" that's "an eternal death struggle."

On Reddit earlier today, a gamer called Lycerius posted those apocalyptic notes about what the year 3991 is like in his decade-long game of Civilization II.

That's right, Lycerius has been playing the game for 10 years to "see just how far into the future I could get and see what the ramifications would be." And the world is looking Mad Max / Terminator / Waterworld awful:

-- "Ice caps have melted over 20 times," mostly because of nuclear wars. "Every inch of land in the world that isn't a mountain is inundated swamp land, useless to farming."

-- "Peace seems to be impossible" between the three superpowers (called Celts, Vikings and Americans). "Every time a cease fire is signed, the Vikings will surprise attack me or the Americans the very next turn, often with nuclear weapons."

-- "Cities are constantly attacked by spies who plant nuclear devices which then detonate."

Lycerius' post has already inspired a short story, praise for what "would have made an epic Star Trek episode" and speculation about a movie deal.

As for Lycerius, the gamer says:

"My goal for the next few years is to try and end the war and thus use the engineers to clear swamps and fallout so that farming may resume. I want to rebuild the world. But I'm not sure how. If any of you old Civ II players have any advice, I'm listening."

Let's hope he can figure out a way to save us all.

(H/T to NPR.org's Matt Thompson.)

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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