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Thread: Most dictators are idiots: The game tell me a truth

  1. #1
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    Most dictators are idiots: The game tell me a truth

    Hi, Dear Friends. I am a Chinese.I have just translated an interesting article into English and posted here. I don't know whether it is proper to post my work here but, could you tell me whether my translation is understanble and acceptable? thanks very much!
    I am a crazy game fan. Begining with 8-bit game machine since childhood, I have played games for over 20 years. What is more, I have spent bottomless money on various equipments. It is no overspeaking that I am an Ashes Player.

    One of the old sayings cannot be more accurate: "It is an onlooker who is mystified by appeared liveliness; but it is an expert who makes out know-how". It is impossible for a player like me to play games blindly. And as I have already gone over my boyhood, I have now reached a level of playing with philosophic thinking. Some people may jeer at me: What you are saying is no more than playing games. The fact itslef can prove your superficiality indulging in games with such an old age. It is enough that we wouldn't accuse you of not attending to your proper works. What nonsense that you are parading that you can play with philosophic thing!

    Well, it won't cost you anything to listen to me and judge the reasons by yourself before you are so eager to decry me. Ever since I came to the this forum, I became interested in history and politics through which I have really obtained a totally different understanding about game. Namely, I am now awaking to the truth that most of the dictators have weak wisdom. Let's discuss the matter if you don't believe.

    As the Ninth Art(I entitle it myself, hehe, no tarization), nowadays E-game has become one of most important cultural consumptions. In England and the United States, it is administered by special departments and enjoys the same high grade of treatment as TV and film do. It is in Britain, for instance, that Media Administration Committee holds itself ready for the job(it aims at boosting it up, not muffling it, very different from the same institution in our country). With the swift development of PC technique, Such a brand-new multimedia technique is certainly being favored by Western businesses. A great many large companies have highly profited by engaged in its development and issuing. Some well-known game producers, like Sony and Microsoft, are newers of the game sofeware market and have enjoyed astonishingly yearly profit margins. Under such circumstances and affected by market law, E-games are being produced more and more refined, humanized and meditative. Those who know E-games well must realize what I point out here.

    Such a result must lead the E-game industry to dabble in every aspect of human society, including rethinking about history and culture. resorting to this kind of rethinking, I got the truth, which is demonstrated prominently in several popular SLG games, that "Most of dictators have less wisdom".

    "Rome, Total War", produced in Europe, is one of them. It is a SLG game that tells of stories of the Roman legion taking against the intrusion of barbrians and invading other civilied nations from 270 BC until about the birth of Christ. The player acts as one commander among Rome warlords. He will win the game if he can successfully unify 50 Roman states withing less than 300 years. Ok, in order to achieve the game object, one has to take actions of politics, economy, culture, diplomacy and war. What a game that will rack one's brain and mind! As the game is so set, a player should be schemingly proceeding the game, as a real dictator. The game thus becomes a interactive process to satisfy one's desire of being emperor of Rome.

    there is no other thing than this actual process of seizing power and lavishing power which lets me not only know why most dictators are idiots, but also make me astound at the game designers' stupendous talents.

    Of course, due to its high virtuality and strong reversion of history, the game will evitably produce a lot of "random events" uncontroled even by the designers themselve. Such character strengthened the player's addiction to the game and make his experience of being a emperor more actual and impressive. In order to strengthen his might, the player has to develop aound military cause. politics, economy, culture, diplomacy and so on are all for one purpose, defeating the enemy. As we know, this is a kind of history reversion in very real extent. For in the period of Roman Republic, the process did go on in this way and was very different from that in Roman Empire. Under the demand of this very purpose, the player has to employ all kinds of resources and methods -- justic, ignoble, frank, shameful, etc. -- to destroy others and strengthen himself. During the process, I fostered about 40 super killers to assassinate those I don't like, even some of superior members of Roman Senate. At the same time, I was rewarded by the Senate time after time.

    However, addiction to such a despotism craze may lead to a very unpleasant outlook. Once conquering a state, the player will have to offer three choices to the submitted people: occupying, enslaving, massacre. According to history, enslaving was favoured by Romans, for while eliminating other nation's culture completely, they could not only convert a great many soldiers and civilians into slaves, but also carry off a large surplus of fortunes. Though massacre was the most convenient way amont the three to get the greatest wealth in a shortest time, it was not a sustained source of wealth. According to history, however, it is the massacre that the Romans did when they conquered Carthag. The Carthaginian civilization fell into extinction since then.

    Due to very differences in belifes and civilizations, the player also seek support by means of fictitious religions. At the same time, he has to be very tough and ruthless in dealing with the oppositions. Hs has to supervise them all the time so that he can ruin them once they dared to take against him. If he doesn't want to do so, well, he is dancing with death; for democracy will bring about doomday. Remember, the player's purpose is to plunder the people, not to act for them -- he is no other than a powerful wolf which cares for lambs just for eatting a fat one.

    Thus, in such a highly realistically game environment, I became a two-faced man, wise as well as fool. In order to enrich myself, I have to foster my own army for plundering and conquering. The army's semi-privatization made my purpose noble and abject at the same time. It is noble because I aim at binding the whole country in the great name of unification and peace; it is abject because during this process, I can disregard procedure justice by doing every thing at will, no one is daring to oppose me. In the game, I have to carefull administered each conquered state and established a kind of planned economy. I always act like a wise and omnipotent man. On the other hand, those conquered people are not my lifeless tools. They have their own ideas, vitalities, and demands. They would act on their own understandings of interests and inspire a great many turmoils. At last, trivial dissatisfactions could give rise to endless uprisings beyond my control. Even though I rule so many states, I become an idiot unexpectably, sighing over ceaseless insurgences and unable to do anything.
    Last edited by Seaguest; 09-07-2005 at 08:04 AM.

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    I own every character that a dictator should own. for instance, I have strict and impartial disciplines; and my legions is the superstar in the game, with the first rate of equipment, swordsmen and battle effectiveness. From time to time, I laugh at the enemy's hopeless resistance and change a fight into a slaughter. I would not listen to the faithful advice from the Senate and always go my own way. In my eyes, I am the one who sould surpass the Senate and will devour it some day -- It is precisely what Octavian did and how he built the empire. Not only that, I despise the damands of the mass and regard them as either slaves or the dead. Go to hell, Democracy!

    But it is the so highly realistic game that has always put me at the rim of the hell. I am worring about those endless uprisings and those allying schemes from the opposite forces day and night. I do experience the boundless solitude of a dictator. Like a senseless persecutor, I deem that I might be assassinated by my few intimates, or even overthrown by the people. As it is impossible to kill them all and I have to depend on them to eliminate my enemies, I trust no one in the game. I always look at those peace advocators as the practicers of peaceful evolution. I am afraid that they might agitate a coup d'etat; in most cases they do! Therefore, I fall into a vicious circle: the more I am worried, The more mutinies there were; and the more friends are killed, the deeper solitude I experience.

    Where is the end of this endless night?

    Game is after all a game. Eventually, I venomously reached my terminal end: overwhelming the Senate, destroying other warlords against me, unifying Rome and building up the so-called empire. The game is over! watching the splendid scene, I cannot help but meditate:

    Am I really a great man? Why should I have to unify Rome by having killed so many people? Why can't I achieve my ambitions by letting the people voluntarily elect me as their leader? But I know, if I did that, The whole process will be quite slow and long; and I will have to bear the threat of being overthrown or even killed -- I had done too many evil things, how can I face the foreground of losing my army?

    In fact, it is possible to let the people voluntarily attach to me and unify Rome democratically. I made this experiment in the game: I unified Rome by developing my own state carefully, allying other states one by one, forcefully suppressing those unlawful tyrants, etc.. However, This civilized process would be very long and very arduous. In a surrounding that jungle law prevails, the devolopment of democracy also requires an incisive sword. In other words, such a American-style unification fills with far more challenges. No ordinary man is capable of bearing the hardship with adequate patience to do the job.

    Because of this, What I did is as far as those idiots had done: forcefully unifying the world as quickly as possible. In this way, the unification under high pressure at last breaks up again after a ephemoral peace and stability. This is what the militarised Rome's real fate: it was defeated by others and by itself. Rome became devided and died fore ever.

  3. #3
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    I don't know if this is generally done here, but I will comment on the first two paragraphs anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaguest
    I am a crazy game fan. Begining with 8-bit game machine since childhood, I have played games for over 20 years. What is more, I have spent bottomless money on various equipments. It is no overspeaking that I am an Ashes Player.
    The first sentence is fine. The second should be: 'Beginning with an 8 bit game machine when I was a child, I have continued to play games for twenty years.' The third sentence: 'bottomless' should be endless, and there should not be an 's' on 'equipment'. The fourth sentence should be: 'It is no overstatement (or not inaccurate) that I am an Ashes Player.' Depending on exactly what you are trying to express, this sentence could be done several different ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaguest
    One of the old sayings cannot be more accurate: "It is an onlooker who is mystified by appeared liveliness; but it is an expert who makes out know-how". It is impossible for a player like me to play games blindly. And as I have already gone over my boyhood, I have now reached a level of playing with philosophic thinking. Some people may jeer at me: What you are saying is no more than playing games. The fact itslef can prove your superficiality indulging in games with such an old age. It is enough that we wouldn't accuse you of not attending to your proper works. What nonsense that you are parading that you can play with philosophic thing!
    I am not completely sure what meaning the first sentence is intended to have, but I think that I would write: 'There is an old saying that: "An onlooker may be mystified by apparent liveliness, but it is an expert who has the know-how to understand." (or something else) The next sentence is fine. The third sentence is pretty good, but the 'over' should be 'beyond', and it could be phrased differently, but I think that the point is communicated well in your translation. The next sentence should be: 'Indulging in games at such an age is proof, in itself, of your superficiality.' I don't know what is being communicated by your next two sentences.

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    Thanks very much for your heartful help, Peterl. I will modify my translation according to you instructions. I am very grateful, thanks.

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