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Computers: Bombs Away

1 minute read

When the U.S. bombed targets in Libya last April, a computer flight-simulator program called F-15 Strike Eagle jumped suddenly from 15th to fifth place on Billboard’s Entertainment Software list. Reason: among the seven scenarios included in MicroProse Software’s $34.95 disk was a strikingly similar mission. Based on a 1981 incident in which U.S. jets downed a pair of Libyan MiGs over the Gulf of Sidra, the program was embellished with a mythical air strike over Libyan soil.

Quickly capitalizing on the headlines, MicroProse has issued a revised edition of Strike Eagle that includes “Mission 8: The Anti-Terrorist Airstrike–Libya, April 14-15, 1986,” complete with a printed map of the Libyan coastline, showing the location of suspected terrorist camps. True, the simulation is just a recycled version of the imaginary 1981 siege and is flown in an F-15 rather than the F-111s and A-6s used in the actual attack. Still, says MicroProse Executive Fred Schmidt, “it’s a way to find out what it felt like over Libya, and, as our advertisement says, ‘The best part is . . . no one gets hurt.’ “

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