THOSE TERRIBLE CZECHS ARE CAUSING TROUBLE AGAIN


You would think that, with all the economic difficulties the Greeks are having, other Europeans would cut them a break.

But no.  Those wily Czechs are intent on creating hate and discontent in the Aegean.

Per the Czech news site iDNES, the mayor of the Greek island of Lemnos is upset that Bohemia Interactive, a Czech wargame developer, is using Lemnos as the site of a key battle in its new game ARMA3.  In this battle, retreating NATO forces have the opportunity to decisively check (pun!) the advance of an “enemy from the east” into NATO territory.

ARMA3 is a follow-on to such hits as ARMA2, Armed Assault and Operati0n Flashpoint.

Lemnos, an idyllic island in the Aegean Sea halfway between the self-governing region of Mount Athos of Greece and the Turkish mainland, is a major tourist destination.

Antonis Hatzidiamantis, Hizzoner of Lemnos, objected that being thus used in a wargame might compromise the island’s reputation and, yes, security.  You see, ARMA3 uses high-resolution maps of the island, which could then be used by those you-know-whos whose realm lies barely a hundred leagues to the east of Lemnos.

I don’t think Hizzoner is right.  First of all, those objectionable you-know-whos probably already have all those maps from Google, military intel and other sources. (They are, after all, members of NATO.)  Second, this just might create an unexpected economic windfall for the island by giving rise to a whole new form of tourism.  Imagine ARMA3 geeks from all over the world filling every available room on the island during bimonthly ARMA3 conventions!

I can already hear a couple of them touring the battleground: “Look, Elwood, I put my squad up on that bluff over there and fought off a whole company of invaders with a couple of captured ZU-23s.”  “Heck, Milo, that ain’t nuth’n.  Ah put mah comp’ny on them beaches ‘n’ done sunk fowr transports wif Hailfars ‘n’ drownded a whole battalion of them funny bunnies.”

To deal with the gamer influx, everyone on the island would seek to make himself more saleable.  Every cabbie, every street urchin would quickly become a geography and strategy expert.  Every waitress, every shopkeeper would be able to recommend the best defensive positions on the island to eager crowds of gamers who would spend generously in gratitude.  I can see ARMA3 gaming rooms springing up in every hotel and bar, drawing huge crowds eager to match their gaming strategies against the real lay of the land.

And just imagine the opportunities for the Greeks and the EU to create whole new layers of lavishly reimbursed bureaucracies to oversee it all!

The possibilities are limitless.

On the other hand, there are already too many people in this world who confuse fantasy with reality.

No, I don’t mean just politicians. For example, on the same day that Hizzoner Hatzidiamantis had voiced his plaint, the British television station ITV had used animated sequences from ARMA2, claiming it was real footage of an IRA terrorist attack, taken by IRA shutterbugs in 1988.

And then, of course, there is the global grandmother of all lies: Al Gore and his fictional sequences of glaciers calving in his anti-scientific blockbuster, An Inconvenient Truth

Oops.  So what do we do now? Ban all wargames? Go back to making them look so primitive that no one could possibly mistake them for reality?

Oh, I know!  Calculate the carbon footprint of each minute of ARMA3 play and then tax gamers accordingly.  That’ll put them out of business ASAP, and sanity will be restored!

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About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
This entry was posted in advanced technologies, NATO and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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