Endgame: Syria Updates the Civil War

Endgame: Syria Updates the Civil War

Whatever happens over the next few weeks will not only change the lives of countless people in the Middle East, but will also shape the development of Rawlings's game - because Endgame: Syria may be world's first game to evolve along with a real-world conflict.

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This column is by far one of the most intellectually fascinating and challenging columns The Escapist has ever hosted. Bravo, Rob, and please continue to do what you do.

It's something I find disgusting about the International Community and the US's reaction to the entire Syrian conflict. Our inaction to due 'something' has been pushing the people into the arms of the extremists.

Kinda like this situation, Syria has a rough population of 22 million people. We actively help out? We may push about 22,000 people into extremist arms with what we do, but that's still 22 million that support us. We do nothing/little at all? That's 22 million pushed into extremist arms.

Everyone, from Russia to the US, treated the Syrian conflict as a Zero-Sum game, which disgusts me the most out of this entire situation. "We do something, we'll look bad. We do nothing, we'll look bad. Let's do nothing."

The twist is that the game was developed beforehand and is used by the rebels to aggregate data to find the best course of action. You are the rebel leader.
image

Part of it is which side do you support, part of it if you support the rebels is the real possibility that backing that side devolves the whole nation into another civil war by all the disperate factions making up the rebels.

I did not like the USAs lets bomb them red line been crossed etc, one we did not know exactly who used the weapons, with all these groups on the rebel side, some of which would have had no problem gassing civilians to create an incident, vs the government who on the face of it would have been foolish to cross that line, one side had much more to gain and the other side had much more to lose, stepping into that with little intel, little knowledge of what actually happened and who did what, which is something this president does frequently. shooting off his mouth with no information to support his saber rattlings.

Course on the political side here this admin has enough scandals and outright criminality to make nixon look like an amature, a good war with the mounting fbi, nsa scandals, irs targeting of political opponents, a good war is just what this administration needs to divert the attention away from the problems they have. So it makes a tad more sense why he would just wade in guns half cocked ready to goto war without congressional approval.

Proving once again this admin sees the constitution as nothing but a musty piece of paper to be ignored.

Love these articles, keep them coming always a fascinating read.

Robert Rath:
Endgame: Syria Updates the Civil War

Whatever happens over the next few weeks will not only change the lives of countless people in the Middle East, but will also shape the development of Rawlings's game - because Endgame: Syria may be world's first game to evolve along with a real-world conflict.

Read Full Article

This is fantastic stuff, thanks for sharing it. I always look forward to this article, it's easily one of the best such series the Escapist has ever had.

Is there anywhere I can check out this game for myself?

Agayek:

Robert Rath:
Endgame: Syria Updates the Civil War

Whatever happens over the next few weeks will not only change the lives of countless people in the Middle East, but will also shape the development of Rawlings's game - because Endgame: Syria may be world's first game to evolve along with a real-world conflict.

Read Full Article

This is fantastic stuff, thanks for sharing it. I always look forward to this article, it's easily one of the best such series the Escapist has ever had.

Is there anywhere I can check out this game for myself?

Its on the android marketplace for free, haven't found it otherwise online.

EvilRoy:

Agayek:

Robert Rath:
Endgame: Syria Updates the Civil War

Whatever happens over the next few weeks will not only change the lives of countless people in the Middle East, but will also shape the development of Rawlings's game - because Endgame: Syria may be world's first game to evolve along with a real-world conflict.

Read Full Article

This is fantastic stuff, thanks for sharing it. I always look forward to this article, it's easily one of the best such series the Escapist has ever had.

Is there anywhere I can check out this game for myself?

Its on the android marketplace for free, haven't found it otherwise online.

Hmm, I hope this is helpful

http://gamethenews.net/index.php/endgame-syria/

Hope this will help those seeking the game....

Call Me Jose:

EvilRoy:

Agayek:

This is fantastic stuff, thanks for sharing it. I always look forward to this article, it's easily one of the best such series the Escapist has ever had.

Is there anywhere I can check out this game for myself?

Its on the android marketplace for free, haven't found it otherwise online.

Hmm, I hope this is helpful

http://gamethenews.net/index.php/endgame-syria/

Oh, haha. Thanks, when I googled it and saw the results for "gamethenews" I automatically assumed it was just a gaming news website, not the developer website.

FargoDog:
This column is by far one of the most intellectually fascinating and challenging columns The Escapist has ever hosted. Bravo, Rob, and please continue to do what you do.

I second this. Every time I read this column I get some more and novel information which is exactly what I'm looking for. Really need to follow it more closely. That said, I'll definitely go and try that game now - it's a highly interesting topic to begin with and especially the moral implications while playing the game seem to be properly implemented.

Other than that: can the game be directly linked in the article the next time? (barring, of course, if I just haven't seen it)

I just want to go ahead and say that I agree that this column is one of the best on the Escapist.

FargoDog:
This column is by far one of the most intellectually fascinating and challenging columns The Escapist has ever hosted. Bravo, Rob, and please continue to do what you do.

I second this!

The Syria situation is far more complicated than people realise, and this article highlights that. The game sounds good, and I am glad Rob played through it a few times to get different results. I also like how he understands the results, and how his actions got them there... Huzzah!

Can't wait until they start gamifying real child abduction or school shootout cases. I mean, game the news, right? Might as well.

The sad thing is, I predicted the lack of western support would increasingly put the rebels in bed with fanatics...2 years ago. Western waffling continued unabated as Syria and Russia desperately tried to buy time for the conflict to become less black and white and more greyscale, and it did. The chance for a relatively quick, clean intervention like Libya (so fast that everyone in the West appears to have forgotten about it!) has disappeared. And I'm not exactly some Syria expert, just someone who follows the news carefully. The idea that the actual experts with access to real intelligence couldn't have predicted this is kind of sad.

I absolutely love the idea of a game that can show people what has been happening and what is happening, however. With the recent push for US military intervention it seems a whole bunch of uninformed people have been joining the conversation with opinions that just don't match the facts. I'd love any tool that helps them understand.

cerebus23:
Part of it is which side do you support, part of it if you support the rebels is the real possibility that backing that side devolves the whole nation into another civil war by all the disperate factions making up the rebels.

I did not like the USAs lets bomb them red line been crossed etc, one we did not know exactly who used the weapons, with all these groups on the rebel side, some of which would have had no problem gassing civilians to create an incident, vs the government who on the face of it would have been foolish to cross that line, one side had much more to gain and the other side had much more to lose, stepping into that with little intel, little knowledge of what actually happened and who did what, which is something this president does frequently. shooting off his mouth with no information to support his saber rattlings.

Course on the political side here this admin has enough scandals and outright criminality to make nixon look like an amature, a good war with the mounting fbi, nsa scandals, irs targeting of political opponents, a good war is just what this administration needs to divert the attention away from the problems they have. So it makes a tad more sense why he would just wade in guns half cocked ready to goto war without congressional approval.

Proving once again this admin sees the constitution as nothing but a musty piece of paper to be ignored.

Love these articles, keep them coming always a fascinating read.

Ok, first of all, the idea that "maybe the rebels did the chemical attack" is a really transparent lie by New USSR- er, Russia, and Syria- the exact same kind of lie they've been telling since the start of the conflict. Every time they've done something horrible, they point to the rebels and say "but they did a bad thing too, wahh wahh wahh." But let me break it down for you why this is such an obvious lie:

1. Chemical weapons are not like stink bombs. You can't just drop it on the ground and run. They need a delivery mechanism to strike over as wide an area as this latest attack, something along the lines of rockets. Rockets were seen launched from a government controlled Syrian military base 30 minutes before the chemical attack reports started coming in. Everyone with satellites over the region knows about this.

2. Chemical weapons are very expensive and in all but one case (Israel) the most powerful weapons in Middle Eastern arsenals, and therefore incredibly well guarded. The idea that the rebels, who are daily being turned into hamburger, could have stolen them and the rocket delivery mechanisms from ANYWHERE in the Middle East is ludicrous. And who would have given these systems to the rebels? Iran? They're on the regime side! Most of the rebel supporting countries will barely supply anti-air capabilities, what makes you think they're giving away highly banned chemical weapons that officially they don't even possess?

3. This wasn't the first chemical attack, it was just the first large scale one. There was another set back in march/april, which barely garnered any response other than UN inspectors asking permission to verify the chemical attacks. The inspectors were continuously denied access by the regime until quite recently, when heavy pressure by Russia finally got them into the country. More and more political stall tactics, which this game demonstrates the effectiveness of quite well. This first round of attacks gave Syria the idea that the West would not respond at all to chemical attacks, which is why they stepped it up this time. They took the calculated risk that there wouldn't be any real international backlash- and they've been right about that for a whole month already.

Anyway, you shouldn't allow your opinions on US politics and Obama to colour your thinking about the conflict in Syria. Come to your own conclusions and then see if it matches or doesn't match what Obama thinks. Don't make your whole argument about staying out the fact that you think Obama's an idiot.

Nice article, but the game is less complex than you would expect and that makes it easy, very easy.
I was surprised that I saw no chemical weapons used against you card. Positiv surprised, because I would have looked at it as a cheap propagandamove.
It would have been easy to say: "Oh the wwest had to intervene much earlyer than now, because now it is too late and all these terrorists are there."
That is to easy, some of them were there all along. Lybien is a realy bad example about how itīs done and so is Mali.
Itīs fire and forget! Do you know what has happend since Holland and Cameron bin there, the day they made the Bush-move and say: "Mission accomplished!"? It is a raging mess of a civilwar, it is realy bad. But we donīt know and so we donīt care. As soon as Gaddahfiwas dead the media lost interest in it and so did politics. Mission accomplished, all economical goals are fulfilled.
The same happend in Mali, Algier and Egypt. What are we hearing about Egypt, Turkey nowadays? Nothing but that dosenīt mean nothing is happening. It will be the same when the Eagel flys to Siria, dose his bombing, leaves a bit uranium ammunition and goes. Becaus he gave Assad what he earned. Maybe this guy earns a bullet between the eys, but that is not going to happen. The glorious West has no interes in that. Russia and China are not better than we are in this matter, donīt get me wrong, they also have there interests.

Ok sorry lost it there a bit. What this game is missing are some things:
1. A counter for the lost man not only civilians. To give a bit weight to the losses.
2. Tow seperate resources, support is ok, but it is a bit unrealistic to have all these things under one resource. Beacaus ammunition and fighting syrian man are nothing the good will of the EU can give you. It can bost it but it will not magicly review fallen man. Also medical supplies, food and oil are things of material value. They win a war and help your people to fight one, but you have to get them where you need them. I know the support covers this and so does the diplomatic phase, but that seems to cheap and unrealistic to me. A resource called supplies would fit, i think.
3. There are only 3 events that is saw in 3 plays that effect the game. And non of them say like:"Milita X is refusing to fight for you/ trying to get there own part of the cake/ making sharia laws and is uppseting/ terrorising the civils, you get -10 support!"
That all :/ bah Iīm talking about this like I talk about some strategy game, kind of cruel.I is a bit sick but when i started the game there were allready 39000 lives lost 157 died before i could end it and it was the good end where my enemy had no support and I din`t use any units that were not syrian. But still the country was split.
The 157 were son few compered to 39000, it was shocking because it had no weight. Math can be so violent.
Also it makes no sens to not use the militants, at this point they are already there and they wont go it also had no impact not to use them.

El Comandante:
Nice article, but the game is less complex than you would expect and that makes it easy, very easy.
I was surprised that I saw no chemical weapons used against you card. Positiv surprised, because I would have looked at it as a cheap propagandamove.
It would have been easy to say: "Oh the wwest had to intervene much earlyer than now, because now it is too late and all these terrorists are there."
That is to easy, some of them were there all along. Lybien is a realy bad example about how itīs done and so is Mali.
Itīs fire and forget! Do you know what has happend since Holland and Cameron bin there, the day they made the Bush-move and say: "Mission accomplished!"? It is a raging mess of a civilwar, it is realy bad. But we donīt know and so we donīt care. As soon as Gaddahfiwas dead the media lost interest in it and so did politics. Mission accomplished, all economical goals are fulfilled.
The same happend in Mali, Algier and Egypt. What are we hearing about Egypt, Turkey nowadays? Nothing but that dosenīt mean nothing is happening. It will be the same when the Eagel flys to Siria, dose his bombing, leaves a bit uranium ammunition and goes. Becaus he gave Assad what he earned. Maybe this guy earns a bullet between the eys, but that is not going to happen. The glorious West has no interes in that. Russia and China are not better than we are in this matter, donīt get me wrong, they also have there interests.

Libya is actually relatively stable, with no large-scale violence since July. Comparing it to the situation in Syria is like comparing a nerf gun fight to WWI (which, of course, fits better with the use of chemical weapons, but WWII obviously fits better with the brutal and heinous war crimes). I don't know about you, but after following the conflict from the start I'm still very interested.

As for Mali, the record doesn't seem to support your cries of devestating civil war, the french intervention can largely be claimed to have been a success:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/7/28/mali-votes-for-newpresidentamidthreatofviolence.html

The west never did anything in Egypt except pull their military funding and arms sales (something I wish Putin had the decency to do in Syria, what a prick). Turkey is, once again, experiencing unrest nowhere NEAR the levels of even Libya, with a largely peaceful resolution of the last round of protests at Gezi park. Unless of course you're referring to Turkey's ongoing conflict with the Kurds, particularly the PKK, which is currently stalled but also in a relatively long lived ceasefire.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24014555

Anyways, you're not even wrong about Russia being no better- fact is they're worse. Syria is their close ally and they've been covering for them from the start on the international politics stage. More than that, they've been supplying all the weapons Assad is using to kill people by the tens of thousands. And of course, they blocked any UN arms embargoes that would have prevented them from legally doing so. I think it's perfectly fair to point the finger at Russia and give them the blame for, hm, 30% of the people killed in Syria. At least.

China is simply anti-interventionist in policy because they fear a revolution in China might get outside aid. That's the limit of how much they care, hence the abstention vote during the UN's Libyan resolution.

I do find it a bit odd that you have mediocre English skills and this is your first post (on a topic more or less buried, no less), but I don't think you're a Syrian shill. I've seen a few of those on other forums, they're stark raving nuts. Claim the death toll is half the conservative UN estimates, claim it's only terrorists, claim Assad hasn't used jets, claim Assad is the rightful leader and any leader is better than a democratic transition...

I'm not making this stuff up, they've got shills out there. Look at Putin, he's practically a Syrian shill. Just a considerably smarter and more cunning one that can afford the best in translation efforts and speechwriters.

deathjavu:
[quote="El Comandante" post="6.828185.20167672"]

I do find it a bit odd that you have mediocre English skills and this is your first post (on a topic more or less buried, no less), but I don't think you're a Syrian shill. I've seen a few of those on other forums, they're stark raving nuts. Claim the death toll is half the conservative UN estimates, claim it's only terrorists, claim Assad hasn't used jets, claim Assad is the rightful leader and any leader is better than a democratic transition...

I'm not making this stuff up, they've got shills out there. Look at Putin, he's practically a Syrian shill. Just a considerably smarter and more cunning one that can afford the best in translation efforts and speechwriters.

Iīm german and i didnīt practice my english-skills for a very long time, also i made the mistake to not check for the writing ^^. You can see that Iīm registred here a bit longer than this thread is one, but itīs good you made sure to check (no irony).
I wanted to post sometime ago but the climate in discussions here turned me down. The post under these articels are alway a bit different.
I was not referring to what the west is doing in these countries, just about what mainstream-media is showing about it. Considering the scale it had some weeks ago the coverage is nearly zero. In germany we will soon have elections (jay one time democracy in four years), so that is a reason for the shift of attention. Also protest against the muslim-brotherhood in egypt were interesting to watch, not very pro west I would say ;-).
It realy is the consummate hypocrite that hopefuly will keep the west from intervene. 1988 in the full view of western media Sadam gassed 1000s of Kurds. Why didenīt we do anything that moment? Nothing was done because he was fighting Iran (not a nice countrie, the worst thing is itīs not submitting itself to us).
Lybia is relativly stable in the sense that nobody is realy able the claim the full power over all those tribes.
Also I donīt trust the our media today, not the bbc, cnn, ard, zdf...sorry iīm trying to find good sources and they are not.
They lost my trust when they supportet the second war against Irak, that was based on a lie. The situation in Syria is different, but there are similarities in the way some people are trying to bring us into the conflict.
"Lie to me once, shame on you! Lie to me twice shame on me!" -English saying, right?
It was Assad who used the gas, in the worst possible moment he could ever choose, but media consens is it was him. He is cruel, brutal and a dictator, but he is not dumb.
Also would the West never put him down. They had the chance with Saddam 1990 but America as the leader of the western states needs an enemy in the locker at every point, now that the UDSSR was gone (oh how lucky they are, that Putin is such an ambitious man). I suspect that this is the reason why it took so long to get bin Laden. You are right when you say I have no proof for this! But we also have no proof that Assad used these weapons (witch we sold him, by the way, not russia). I have only the history to look at and see: "Yep stuff like that happend all over the place, and America has a long history in that."
At the end we have too rais the question, who profits when we go in? Keep in mind that once the west has control over Syria, the way to Iran is free. Oil will not need the way above the street of Homes and also it suspected that there is a lot of gas under Syria. Maybe the syrian people will profit, but itīs more likely to end like Irak where more people died during these years than under the dictatorship of Saddam. The revenge for 09.11 was cruel as they where in colonial times, when a native killd a white guy. A never ending conflict that brings a lot of cash...

 

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