Friday, January 4, 2008

The Ultimate Weapon

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I remember I was playing Risk with a girl who had never played before and we were talking about alliances.

“It's pretty simple,” my friend Jake was explaining, “let's say you and I both know that Chris is going to win unless we work together, we agree not to attack one another for the next two turns so that we keep him from winning.”

Then she asked a simple question, a question that on the face of it seemed perfectly innocent, but it would in fact destroy our entire concept of reality, “What happens if I don't? I mean what if I say I won't attack you, but then I do anyway? And take your cards? What happens then?”

For a few moments there was silence. None of us had ever dreampt such a thing was possible. It was as if, while we were fighting each other each trying to see how we could take over Australia, her secret team of scientists had invented Plutonium. “I- I- guess nothing... I mean there's nothing in the rules.” I tried to chime in, for I had a vision of the horror that was to come “It's kind of unsportsmanlike... I mean we probably won't want to play Risk with you again.”

She was unmoved “Oooh, you mean you won't make me play this boring-three-hour-long-game with you guys again?! Ooooh nooo what a tragedy- I'm attacking Siam.”

And just like that, the first treaty was broken. The face of warfare was forever altered (in Risk) all our old strategies were obsolete (in Risk) and the valor of the glory days was lost to the pages of history (in Risk).

Long story short, she totally won.

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