What would be the best way to study war? Academics at the University of California at Berkley believe that the answer is through Real-time strategy game Starcraft. The course description reads:
“UC Berkeley students with an interest in real-time strategy games and the competitive gaming landscape are encouraged to participate in this class.
This course will go in-depth in the theory of how war is conducted within the confines of the game Starcraft. There will be lecture on various aspects of the game, from the viewpoint of pure theory to the more computational aspects of how exactly battles are conducted. Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course. Furthermore, the class will take the theoretical into the practical world by analyzing games and replays to reinforce decision-making skills and advanced Starcraft theory.
Class will start with lecture and usually include a special discussion topic having to do with the day’s lecture to inspire new and original thought. At the end of lecture, there may be time to analyze student-submitted replays to illustrate a point or to improve analysis. Homework will be assigned at the end of each class and is due at the beginning of each lecture.”
What sort of homework are you going to get in this course? What about this for a problem:
“You started with a mass Hydra strat, which the enemy Protoss scouts and ends up with a mass of zealots with leg enhancements. How effective are your Hydralisks against this incoming horde? If your Hydralisks are not effective, how can you make your Hydralisks more effective?”
That’s tricky! Hydralisks are usually ineffective against Zealots, their only advantage being in ranged attack, yet low hit-points. The only way to have them defeat the Zealots would be to upgrade Muscular Augments (speed) and Grooved Spines (range), have them trap the incoming Zealots by burrowing, and then running around and staying out of melee if possible.