Police and video games, where have we heard that before? Well it looks like game developer Henry Smith could have had a close encounter with the police, except that in his case it would seem that the police exercised a bit of discretion instead of barging into his home and kicking down his door.
What happened is that as a developer, Smith drew plans for a game called Global Thermonuclear War which basically uses Google Maps to simulate what a nuclear war could look like between nations. On a whiteboard in his home, Smith had hand drawn a crude sketch of the word along with some lines to simulate nuclear missiles being fired from one country to another.
According to his letting agent (which is sort of like a real estate agent), someone who came to his house to perform an inspection saw the drawings and was a bit alarmed, and while Smith tried to assuaged their fears, he received an email a week later stating that the matter had been referred to the local police.
“Knowing how the police here deal with suspected terrorists, I was worried they’d do a dawn raid or worse. It was genuinely scary for a while,” said Smith. However like we said, there was no raid on his apartment and to date Smith has yet to receive a call or visit from the police. He believes that perhaps the police had decided that Smith’s crude sketches and how left in the open they were probably hinted that he did not have any plans for world destruction.
Smith does not blame his letting agency, claiming that they were acting responsibly, although he was a little disappointed by their judgement. “Nobody is planning an intercontinental ballistic missile attack by Russia on Washington from a rented house in a Bristol suburb. And definitely not by drawing their missile trajectory freehand on a whiteboard.”
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