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“Homefront” Video Game Imagines Korean-Occupied U.S. As Real Crisis Looms on Peninsula

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Posted on November 23 2010 11:00 am
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.” Those words seem rather apt as North Korea, an imagined enemy in a forthcoming videogame, dominates real-world news this week.

North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing one person, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South’s military went on top alert.

In what appeared to be one of the most serious border incidents since the 1950-53 war, South Korean troops fired back with cannon, the government convened in an underground war room and “multiple” air force jets scrambled.

The firing came after North Korea’s disclosure of an apparently operational uranium enrichment programme — a second potential way of building a nuclear bomb — which is causing serious alarm for the United States and its allies.

Somber as the situation on the peninsula is, it is difficult to ignore how the news fulfills the prescient plot of the video game Homefront. The game is a first-person shooter from developer THQ which imagines America in the not-too-distant future occupied by a brutal Korean power. In a promotional documentary exploring the creation of the game’s backstory, Homefront’s developers paint a vista of speculative fiction which is a little more believable this week than last.

Historically, there are multiple examples of sudden rises and sudden falls [of world powers] – ancient Greece, Mongolia, Japan.

So, when you ask – how could a mighty power like the U.S.A. fall? – it’s really a combination of elements. It’s the decline of the U.S.A. due to internal factors and the global geopolitical situation. And there’s war in the Middle East. There’s Saudi Arabia and Iran involved and that disrupts oil supplies. And the rise of a new power.

The United State’s big weakness is their “just in time” economy. Your local supermarket has three days worth of stock on the shelves. If something gets in the way and disrupts that, that’s it. That’s the end for our country. Our country is on the razor’s edge.”

Of particular note in Homefront’s storyline is the sequence of events which lead to a unified Korean peninsula and its aggressive expansion. Recent real-world events seem to portent this speculation.

What happens in the storyline is that we have North Korea being unified with South Korea to form one country where it has the economic power and modern military equipment…. We also have North Korea being in conflict with Japan, [and therefore] training on American weapons and getting a lot of modern training, and really building up a military from the other countries in the East Asia region.

Let’s hope that the more destructive of Homefront’s prophecies, such as the electromagnetic pulse which knocks the U.S. back into the Stone Age, remain fiction. Strength shown now against this least discussed member of President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” may prevent a border skirmish from turning into a full-scale war.

Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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