World War 2.5

This interactive little cartoon (Flash required) opens by zooming in on a mystified-looking George W. Bush. Then, it presents a menu of military units you can mouse over for more info. Then come drawings of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and John Ashcroft, which will pop up later as interactive menu windows. Then, a map of the Middle East appears. Click “start,” and an animated battle scenario begins, interrupted periodically by the aforementioned Cabinet members, who appear occasionally to pause the battle and announce new developments. The game’s creator calls this the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf, and it doesn’t go where you think it will; instead of a simple “kaboom,” think infinite complications. Watching it unfold should give even the most unrepentant armchair chickenhawk plenty to think about. We’re obviously not talking cakewalk here.