Theoretical War

Gamasutra has an interview with Craig Allen, CEO of Spark Unlimited, about the company’s new release. The game is called Turning Point, and it takes a “what-if” scenario. As it asks what might have happened had the Nazis invaded the U.S. in WWII, the game seems to ponder on the nature of war.

Allen tries to avoid making direct connections with any recent conflict that may have occurred in, say, Iraq, even though parallels abound. He says, “In our game, the Germans are not conquering America so much as they are, in their words, liberating America.

He is more than ready, though, to admit that there’s a social conscience to the game. In a response to a question about games with a “message,” he says:

You have a medium that allows for exploration and interactivity in a way that action has cause and effect. Every other medium — books, films, music — they’re primarily passive. You might enjoy them as part of a social event. You can see movies together, you can talk about them together.
But what you see on the screen has been crafted and is presented in one format. With games, and this is part of what we’re trying to do with Turning Point, you can actually present options, you can present choices and explore those choices and, much like we do in life, we hopefully find new meaning depending on the outcome of those decisions.

Some interesting things to think about. And beating Nazis is always fun, too.