“The only drawback to our setup is the load times, and lack of player 3 and 4 support.”
Middle of the dessert, Iraq – The late-90’s / early 2000’s really were a much simpler time.
Just on the cusp of widespread adoption of broadband Internet, and the blossoming of what would become today’s Internet culture as we know it, the era of the GameCube/PS2/Xbox was a generation of wonder and excitement. Not only were we seeing a new major competitor enter the video game console ring (following Sega’s departure), but we were wowed by significantly improved 3D environments that the previous generation of consoles simply weren’t capable of producing.
The PS2, at the time, was so powerful in fact, that people believed that Al-Qaeda was purposefully smuggling PS2 consoles into Iraq in order to create clusters to operate military technology. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that when you’re in the dessert, on a horse with no name, you’ve gotta work with what you’ve got.
But, I mean, seriously? Did we seriously believe that terrorists were utilizing video game consoles to operate military equipment?
Yes. Yes we did.
As it so happens, people were actually pretty smart to believe that. Found alongside many other wonders of the world inside Steve Wozniak’s private warehouse of magical wonders, is an old diary from a member of al-Qaeda, outlining in great detail Osama bin Laden’s use of the PS2 consoles to fly a primitive drone, powered by none other than a cluster of PS2 consoles.
One page reads:
“Our organization recently got their hands on a large shipment of PS2 consoles. Our chief mastermind and self-proclaimed lunatic, Osama bin Laden, gave a seminar the other day on how to link up multiple consoles after he read a NeoGAF forum post on how to create a supercomputer with these bad boys. I still think he’s crazy, and it’ll never work, but what do I know, right?”
Later in the diary, another page states:
“We finally tested out the new UAV today, using the PS2 consoles. He [Bin Laden] powered the cluster of consoles, grabbed a controller, and started flying around the UAV like it was an RC plane. I’m actually impressed, he did exactly what he said he would.”
Apparently, Bin Laden holds a spot in his heart for flight simulation games.
“It plays just like Ace Combat 5. The controls are very tight and easy enough for any of our organization’s members to pick up and wreak havoc on those stupid Americans!”, according to another journal entry by the unknown al-Qaeda member.
As for the rumored capability of a cluster of the popular Sony consoles providing sufficient computing power, it’s hard to say whether that held true, but we can now be certain: Bin Laden had something planned for all those PS2’s he and his friends acquired.
Perhaps he planned a multinational kiosk business selling RC helicopters to secure long-term funding for the terrorist organization?