This Nation-Building Stuff is Hard


I’ve been thinking a whole lot about Cooper these days.  You know him, right, or have heard of him?  He’s the Cooper on everyone’s mind, the Cooper whose name is on everyone’s lips, the same Cooper who’s the mysterious and anonymous benefactor and supplier of resources to so many.  He’s the absent-minded Cooper in the commercial, the one about to eat a city bus.  Yes, that Cooper.

See, I’m trying my hand at nation building.  I mean, I’ve seen America’s penchant for it over the years and through history, so I asked myself just how hard it could be.  It turns out it can be pretty damn hard, even on the gaming level.   Then again, maybe it’s simply me and that I’m not cut out for this sort of thing, peacenik that I am.

Clash_of_Clans_LogoIt’s been about a week now since I established my tribal village on a shore front parcel of land in Clash of Clans.  The ocean laps languidly across the rocks.  We’re a mineral rich yet cash strapped commune with meager, if any at all, political ambitions of world conquest.

Nevertheless, almost immediately after my country’s inception, the “powers” led us to attack our goblin neighbors in the hopes of acquiring needed resources.  Why we can’t live in peace with them, I don’t understand.  After a few successful skirmishes, I’ve settled down into the task of improving my infrastructure.  But the call to attack is always in my ear.  I’m simply ignoring it.

There’s a lesson here, I’m sure as my ignorance is costing me and mine.  In all, three blatant acts of war have been made against us by three separate tribes.  Every time I leave for a minute, I get a message saying that the village is besieged by another different horde and to please return to save them.  When I return, all I see are little tombstones dotting the pasture where once little people moved about so industriously.  I feel like I’m training and arming the Iraqi Army; they’re going to have to step up!

I had to lead, of course.  So I upgraded the defenses I already had as well as other integral parts of my government, retrained additional troops and despite my misgivings, prepared to attack again.  Out of a detachment of 50 mixed troops, only one came back.  I’d won the battle and gained the much-needed resources so why did I feel so deflated and horrible?

I’m joking with all of this, of course but I do wonder what lessons are being learned here.  With over 100 million playing, the game app can produce a massive teaching moment for many.  It’s fun but the sad thing is that it teaches us to be aggressive, I think.  I mean, I can’t keep simply going about my business, building and improving my land without attacking and killing somebody someplace else.  You have to wage war in order to build.  Hmm, this is a lot more realistic than I thought.

It strikes me funny how I’m reluctant to send even digital troops to a possible death yet many of our political leaders are more than ready to condemn our sons and daughters to a possible real-life horrifically violent one.  Maybe they need to play the game a few times, give the troops real human names and see what happens; see if any second thoughts occur.

Still, I’m not going to give up because honestly, it’s personal now.  I mean, you just can’t come into my back yard, fuck with me when I’m doing absolutely nothing to you and that’s it.  There will be repercussions ultimately.  Realism, yeah boy…

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