Muggles call cops on Global Thermonuclear War dev

By Brenna Hillier
27 August 2014 23:21 GMT

Global Thermonuclear War developer Henry Smith has been dobbed into the coppers after his letting agent became concerned he may be planning some sort of attack on the USA.


You know how, right, you sort of live on the Internet in this highly-informed bubble where everyone has a basic understanding of technology (if not basic social graces)?

And then sometimes that bubble is punctured by meat space and you realise 99% of the world is populated by – by – muggles?

Global Thermonuclear War is an in-development game about, well, global thermonuclear war. A one-man project, it draws on Google Maps data to simulate an apocalyptic conflict between nations.

Developer Henry Smith is hard at work on the project, and as a result of this has a white board in his house with a scribbled diagram of a European attack on the USA.

The thing is, he had a rental inspection. And according to the Guardian, his letting agent took one look and freaked the heck out.

The agent called Smith to discuss their concerns, and Smith explained the project and the sketch. The agent wasn’t satisfied, though, and later emailed Smith to say the matter had been referred to the police.

Then there’s this bit, which necessitated me having a lie down in the dark until I’d calmed down a bit. Quoted in full from the linked article:

The police have not yet followed up the letting agent’s tip-off, and Smith now thinks they’re unlikely to, especially if they have seen photos of the diagrams. He says he doesn’t hold a grudge against the letting agency, who “just wanted to act responsibly”.

That is understandable, he says, “but their judgment has let them down for sure. Nobody is planning an intercontinental ballistic missile attack by Russia on Washington from a rented house in a Bristol suburb. And definitely not by drawing their missile trajectory freehand on a whiteboard.

“And even if they were, they wouldn’t have left those whiteboards out on the pre-agreed day of a visual inspection.”

Oh my glob. I have to have another lie down. What would we do without the concerned citizens of the world?

You can visit Smith’s GitHub page to keep tabs on the project, or just go watch war unfold.

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