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Man Spends Decade Playing Epic PC Game
A man has found out how humanity's final days will be played out in the year 3991 - at least in the world of the computer game he has been hooked on for a decade.
The gamer - known only as Lycerius - posted details online about his epic adventure on the strategy game Civilization II, in which players control a nation through world history.
The detailed game begins at the dawn of civilisation and should end in 2020, but he has continued cultivating his virtual world for another 1,971 years.
He says the three remaining nations have been at war for 1,700 years - and endless nuclear wars have melted the ice-caps and left huge swathes of the world uninhabitable.
"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation," he said.
"Roughly 90% of the world's population has died either from nuclear annihilation, or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm."
Scores of different tribes begin the game, each seeking world domination. The only three superpowers left in his simulation are the Celts - controlled by Lycerius - the Vikings, and the Americans.
"Between the three of us, we have conquered all the other nations that have ever existed and assimilated them into our respective empires," he said, adding that the nations had been locked in an "eternal death struggle" for almost 2,000 years.
"Peace seems to be impossible. So I can only assume that peace will come only when they're wiped out."
Civilization II was released in 1998 by MicroProse. Players have to fight wars, develop technology and forge peace treaties with other nations.
Lycerius said he has had to transfer his save file to each new computer over the past decade to continue playing the game.
"I thought that it might be interesting to see just how far into the future I could get and see what the ramifications would be," he said.
"Naturally I play other games and have a life, but I often return to this game when I'm not doing anything and carry on."
He posted details of his lengthy conquest on social networking site Reddit, where users were quick to draw comparisons between the game and George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.
The book features three nations locked in an eternal war that no one can remember the beginning of, and where borders always change during minor power grabs.