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A little less than a happy high
I remember playing a game of Civ III not too long ago where I had managed to stake out a small but relatively productive territory in spite of the very aggressive settlements of my neighbors. The French in particular had posed a problem, dropping cities on several sites I had chosen a mere turn before my settlers arrived. Things progressed apace until I discovered gunpowder slightly ahead of everyone else’s research curve. Unfortunately, there was no saltpeter anywhere in my territory.

Scouting around the map, I discovered that the French city that had most irked me (because of its placement, my empire had a crescent shape as opposed to the more pleasing oval) sat controlling the sole saltpeter square on that end of the continent. Given the incredibly cynical cast of the game, my choice was simple – attack the French before they realized what they had or risk dissolution and falling into remembrance as the “once-shining light” of this Earth’s Middle Ages.

I agonized over this. I was in such a moral conundrum about invading the territory of another culture over resources to build my “modern war machine” that I had to walk away from the game for several days before I could actually go forward. I tried everything I could short of surrendering to try to negotiate the release of the city and then, finally, I went to war. I felt awful. Despite knowing that Joan of Arc was just a series of algorithms and that there was no real harm being done in the simulation, I was pained at having to be so callously aggressive.

Sometimes I’m far too sensitive for my own good.

Current Mood: Ol' softy
Current Music: Neko Case, "Things That Scare Me"

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