Cops Called Over Global Thermonuclear War Game


A British games developer was reported to police after a visitor to his home saw plans for a game titled “Global Thermonuclear War.”

The Guardian reports that Henry Smith had used whiteboards to make crude diagrams of the game, which will be an online multiplayer experience based around Google Maps.

Following a visit by a letting agent (who deals with tenants on behalf of a landlord), Smith was called by the agency and asked about the whiteboards, which showed a missile launched from Russia to land on the East Coast of the US.

Although Smith explained the game to the agency, he received an e-mail the following week saying the matter had been referred to the police. Smith told The Guardian that “Knowing how the police here deal with suspected terrorists, I was worried they’d do a dawn raid or worse.”

Thankfully for Smith, there’s no sign yet of the police following up the report. He notes that “Nobody is planning an intercontinental ballistic missile attack by Russia on Washington from a rented house in a Bristol suburb. And definitely not by drawing their missile trajectory freehand on a whiteboard.”

Some more cynical online commenters have already questioned whether Smith is pulling out a publicity stunt, though it’s also been noted that if that was the case, he’d have been better off waiting until the game was further into development. At the moment the online version barely qualifies as a demonstration of concept.

There’s no word yet on whether Smith will also be developing a Tic Tac Toe game, which would be equally curious in that the only way to win is not to play.

[Image credit: Henry Smith via The Guardian.]

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