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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Through The Ages - Card: Internet

NOTE:  Special thanks to Nick Page (https://plus.google.com/110654110577367685749/posts) for pointing out this blog was not completed.  Good job!

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.

Internet

History
The Internet's history is linked closely to the electronic computer.  Computers grew to fruition during World War II as cryptographic code breaking tools.  It wasn't until the 1950's that networked computers were introduced, albeit they were very limited.

The biggest challenge of networked computers is not the hardware, but the software.  How to create a reliable network with failsafe redundancies capable of transmitting large amounts of data to any location in the world?  At first, just linking two computers together seemed like a giant leap.  Later they were added, for lack of a better term, "in serial": one computer was linked to two other computers, which were in turn linked to another computer, and so on.  To send a message from one terminal to another required passing through every linked computer.  Furthermore, the entire message had to go before the next message could be sent.

But things would change rapidly in the 1980's and 1990's.  Internet protocols were established.  Packet filtering, Addressing systems and routers were developed.  Networking systems rose and fell within years: ARPANET, NSFNET, CSNET arrived and vanished.  But each modified the way the next network would be built.

In mid-1990's restrictions on who could use the Internet backbone were removed, and the world changed.  Today the internet permits information to travel around the world quickly and easily.  Nations are stuck in a dichotomy of trying to suppress the internet, and at the same time risk falling behind by ignoring it.  Those that want to suppress it find their people come up with new ways to bypass the restrictions, forcing them to acknowledge embarrassing or unsavory events.

Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) permits fast and efficient ordering of products online, as well as the comparison of competing products.  People have created social networks, online learning systems, and freedom of expression.

The history of the Internet is being written now, so measuring its impact is nearly impossible.  All we truly know is the impact is great in just the past 15 years.  Where will it end?
Game Stats

In Game Terms the Internet is not the most popular Wonder, being played in less than 50% of the games.  Still, the Internet generates 21 culture on average, which is puts it in the 6th most cutlture generating position

Strategies, Combos and Opinions
Strategies & Combinations
Given Internet is an End of Game Wonder, there are no real strategy except to boost your labs and libraries

Opinions
Internet is a good End of Game Wonder in my opinion.  I believe its biggest issue is the cost of building both Libraries and Labs.  However, both of these are critical science revenues and a player is almost assured to have one or the other.  Given they are labs and libraries, it is unlikely a player has both to a great degree.

This card may do well in a "Shakespeare" culture strategy, if it survives the inevitable attacks against it.  Unfortunately, the culture strategy is fairly weak militarily, making it a prime target from other powers.  If a player were to attempt such a strategy, it would be better to take cards to end the game quickly than to complete this Wonder as it would give the other player's less time to catch up.
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