Civilization II

If the world’s remaining three superpowers stay locked in eternal struggle after a cataclysmic nuclear war, what would it look like?

Reddit user Lycerius paints a bleakly nihilist answer via an ongoing experiment of what the future holds using a 10-year-old Civilization II game. The fate awaiting us all? “A hellish nightmare world of suffering and devastation,” according to Lycerius.

“The year is 3991,” he writes. “The war along the borders of Celtania, New Vikingland, and America has raged for 1,700 years. Roughly 90 percent of the world’s population died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by global warming. The three remaining nations have been locked in an eternal death struggle for almost 2,000 years.”

Other reddit users have flocked to Lycerius’ post to give their comments and recommendations on brokering peace.

“Change to fundamentalism,” DonutEF suggests. “Diplomacy failed this world, and you’ve got to hit them hard and take over the world. Then, you can spend turn upon turn under the blanket of enforced religious peace fixing it with hundreds of engineers.”

“It’s for the greater good,” he concludes.

Interestingly, Lycerius’ game has garnered enough interest to spawn a separate page on reddit dedicated entirely to ending the standoff, now dubbed Eternal War. In addition to racking up nearly 13,000 subscribers in just over 24 hours, the “sub-reddit” hosts fan-fiction, fan art, memes, and plenty of parallels to author George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

“My goal for the next few years is to try and end the war and thus use engineers to clear swamps and fallout so farming may resume,” Lycerius says. “I want to rebuild the world. But I’m not sure how. If any of you have any advice, I’m listening.”