Last Saturday, while it was still dark, Christchurch was rocked by a 7+ earthquake. Two things were remarkable about this quake:
However, the quake was powerful enough to smash the hell out of the area, and I expect those that are homeless are feeling a lot less than lucky.
So when I saw an article in the local paper mentioning that the quake was a good thing for the building industry I was pretty glad I had nothing in my mouth to choke on. Have some sensitivity guys! You waited just two days, with aftershocks still rolling, to run this story! The jury is now back in, and they say that ignoring the press makes perfect sense in light of the quality of most of the reporting and editing.
But then my own little mind started to churn and began thinking about this as a game mechanic. Imagine you have a normal business sim game, perhaps a Bob The Builder game and you do all the normal things of winning contracts and building places for people. But you also have the occasional option to have a major disaster happen that would actually profit your company’s position. Would you take the option? Especially if it wasn’t certain that people in the game world would die? What if the game was designed so that your employees were drawn as individuals, not just a resources, each with families that need to be supported. You can choose between watching your foreman of twenty years have his home repossessed or having people you don’t know in the game world maybe, just maybe, perish.
That would be a pretty meaningful decision and I’d love to make the game just to see how many people choose the disaster instead of the game over.