Could You Win the Cold War?

Could You Win the Cold War?

One of the best strategy games ever made puts players at the heart of the U.S.-Soviet struggle.

For those too young to remember the Cold War, Twilight Struggle is a treasure trove of history:Not just familiar events they have may seen on Youtube such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, but others such as Kruschchev's de-Stalinization or Shuttle Diplomacy. Yes, the historical flavor is just a headline and a photo on a playing card, followed by instructions on which pieces to move or remove from the map. But this is also what makes historical gaming different from a college history textbook or a reminiscence from a parent or grandparent. Historical gaming is applied history, or history that you actually use, and therefore it becomes much more vivid. There is a difference between a Cuban Missile Crisis documentary, and playing a Cuban Missile Crisis card and watching the game's Defcon marker rise toward the mushroom cloud box.

With U.S.-Russian tension again on the rise, Twilight Struggle is a reminder of a fate the world was lucky enough to avoid.

(Twilight Struggle is also available on Amazon and as an app for the PC and mobile devices.)

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Nixon and Brezhnev. White House photo, public domain.