It took more than 24 hours for the world's news organizations to learn of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Homefront (THQ)But a video game saw it coming nine months ago.
THQ's Homefront might be a work of fiction, but it was eerily close to paralleling reality when it effectively predicted the "great leader's" death. The March release, which told the story of a reunified Korea becoming a world power and eventually attacking and occupying the U.S., kicked off with the death of Kim in 2012 -- a mere two weeks away.
Ironically, the game (which wasn't a particularly strong seller, though THQ is proceeding with a sequel) had to be altered before it could be released in Japan earlier this year. Officials there objected to the game's trailer, which showed fake news reports about -- wait for it -- Kim Jong Il's death.
Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization has rules about how real people are portrayed in games. Specifically, you can't say they're dead if they're not.
Technically, the publisher could now release the original game, but seeing as it wasn't a particularly big seller, odds are that won't happen.
Let's hope the rest of the game's predictions don't come true, either.
According to the game, a year after his father's passing, Kim Jong-un (who the game also predicted would take charge, though that wasn't exactly an astonishing guess) will reunify North and South Korea — and then things really start to go downhill.
The U.S. recession doesn't get better. Texas tries to secede from the Union and an outbreak of bird flu (known as the Knoxville Cough) hits America. By 2022, the game envisions us in complete economic collapse. On January 16, 2025, Korea will detonate a high-altitude nuclear weapon over the country.
That wipes out all overhead electronics and Korean troops quickly seize Hawaii, invade San Francisco and drop paratroopers across the Midwest. The Mississippi, meanwhile, will become irradiated, dividing the country in half and leaving the American military isolated, while bands of citizens form a resistance.
So, in other words, here's hoping Homefront writer John Milius (who also penned Cold War invasion classic 'Red Dawn', which is set for a 2012 reboot) doesn't have any Nostradamus in his blood.
(That holds especially true for us reporters who were labeled as enemies of the state by the fictional unified Korean government in media promotions for the game.)