Russian gamers want to keep nuclear war at bay

Even console gamers can join the effort to stop nuclear war. A group of Russian gamers has become more than just gladiators. Instead, they are making a concerted effort to eliminate nuclear weaponry on…

Russian gamers want to keep nuclear war at bay

Even console gamers can join the effort to stop nuclear war.

A group of Russian gamers has become more than just gladiators. Instead, they are making a concerted effort to eliminate nuclear weaponry on Earth.

The game, “Dangerous Counterforce: Charismatic Enemy,” requires gamers to pair off and play a cyber game in a role-playing environment. In addition to a desktop computer, the game requires players to download and run one of a number of operating systems, which helps them learn their role in the game. Players are then tasked with either disarming or destroying more than a dozen different types of computer systems.

The goal is to find a way to drastically reduce the number of nuclear weapons on Earth.

The players were “caught up” in the project after a trip to Beijing, during which some of them encountered a man sitting at the airport with two Soviet-era centrifuges with the words “gift for Russia” on them.

One player, Georgy Popov, took the opportunity to discuss the importance of the effort with the man he saw standing at the airport. A discussion developed, and the following day, Popov and his colleagues headed to Beijing to sort out all the details of the project.

The game, as you might imagine, is a daunting and highly complex challenge.

“If we are to have world peace, we all need to work together,” said Sergey Petrochkov, the 31-year-old programmer who programmed the game. “In order to stop weapons used for more than 60 years, we are going to need a new technology that not only removes them but creates a safer world,” he added.

Possibly sensing the player movement, popov and his colleagues decided to tailor the game to each role player’s style.

In an upcoming mission, popov and his allies explore the ruins of a Russian nuclear base, looking for the type of nuclear device and part of the command systems needed to destroy their target. Players can choose which types of targets they want to dismantle and one of the group members had selected a missile that can destroy one plane at a time.

But that wasn’t ideal, given the possibility of picking off entire military aircraft or slowing down the launch in order to catch the enemy before they reach their missile. So they turned to simulation as a possible solution.

Popov and his team soon figured out that by stacking their terminals, the players could simulate a well-prepared strike on a complex network of air, naval and land weapons. The engineering challenge was obvious, but the question of how the team might piece their set-up together also presented a major challenge. With help from the classically trained artists at the Red Solid Academy, they were able to create the game’s look.

In another upcoming mission, the group needs to eliminate long-range air defense and systems against missiles; so, they created weapons capable of destroying a variety of systems that can protect areas from air and ground attack, all at once.

Their small team is not just a game-maker though. In a group meeting with players and industry experts from the Moscow Modern Mechanix Academy, Alexander Mikhailov, one of the game’s developers, recalled that the most challenging part of the process was trying to figure out how many devices each player’s system would need to disarm.

“We had to figure out all the different possible configurations,” Mikhailov explained.

He said he wouldn’t have been able to tackle the complexity of the project without the guidance of those in his classroom, but eventually decided to leave the game development to the talented game designers and designers in Moscow.

“The meaning of our game is that we don’t want people to lose the fear of the other side,” Mikhailov said. “So we seek out people from different backgrounds. We just want to prove that we can work together, that our backgrounds are different and that we can do this together. If we’re not able to do that, our overall plan is just to go back home.”

The game is being launched into the wild this Thursday and the group will then open invitations to gamers worldwide to participate in the project. Popov said he hopes their campaign inspires people to come together to end nuclear weapons.

“We want to represent a second chance for world peace,” he said.

Leave a Comment