Sometimes, things intersect in ways I don't expect in my mind.
Every student doing the course of study here takes a course in UK history, politics, culture, and such. The course has lectures for a couple hours a week, which are open to anyone, and discussion sections, which, alas, aren't. The lectures are really good; I've been thinking as I listen to the different lecturers how consistently good they are: well organized, interesting, just what you want in a lecture.
Today's lecture was on 19th century British Imperialism.
Have I ever mentioned that I really like the game Civilization? Specifically, I play Civ II. I know, I'm a decade or more behind the times, but Civ II is really good, and doesn't seem as overly complex as some of the later ones.
So today, I kept thinking of how poor a model of imperialism Civ II affords; it's way too easy to take over a country and that's that; once you've thoroughly defeated them, that's it. Not so with real places, of course. You may take over France, but then you have an infant king and voila, France is kicking your butt again. You try to take over India, and they rebel and won't play nice with the salt. And so forth.
Civ II is much easier. And I don't actually have to think about real people dying or suffering when I go to "war" in the game, either.