What happens when you play a single game of Civilization II across ten long years? Well, carpal tunnel syndrome and a lifelong fear of pixels smaller than than the size of a fist. Also, an in-game world which is “a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation”, riddled with nuclear fallout and caught in a terrible stalemate between three ultra-nations which have been at war for millennia.
All this comes from a terrific Reddit post, wherein one Lycerius documents the world he’s made after a good decade of continuing to play on and on and on and on, and currently sitting unhappily in the year 3991. Here’s what it looks like, complete with some captioning:
Lycerius is playing as the Celts, with only Vikings and Americans otherwise remaining. Each of these three nations are “competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands.”
They’ve been at war for 1700 years, and “peace seems to be impossible. Every time a cease fire is signed, the Vikings will surprise attack me or the Americans the very next turn, often with nuclear weapons. Even when the U.N forces a peace treaty. So I can only assume that peace will come only when they’re wiped out.” Trouble is, due to the prevalence of nukes and that each nation is now completely evenly-matched in terms of technology, there appears to be a perfect stalemate. Each nation is constantly and expensively streaming out new military units, as to cease doing so means becoming the weaker party. “This also means that cities are not only tiny towns full of starving people, but that you can never improve the city. “So you want a granary so you can eat? Sorry; I have to build another tank instead. Maybe next time.”
So, what happens next? Is this dark future to be endless? Is this cycle of war, starvation and fallout really the fate of humanity? This player of games has other plans. “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.”
Read much more, and ask Lycerius questions about his endless campaign, here.