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I don't know what triggered this memory, but I recall reading a newspaper article about a game that was introduced in the UK during/just-after the Falklands War where you were a British submarine captain who was trying to torpedo an Argentine ship. The game gained notoriety when this actually occurred.

The article stated the game was running on videotext, so I assume Ceefax or similar. Yet I recall the graphics being something much more detailed than anything I had ever seen in Ceefax, and even then I recall thinking it must have been on a computer.

On another forum a Brazillian user remembers reading the same article in the local papers.

Does anyone recall this and have details?

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  • Falklands 82 was a strategic war game, where you could play as either side. It was controversial in the British press for allowing the Argentines to win (not sure they understood the concept of a war game). Apr 3, 2023 at 7:13
  • @MarkWilliams I don't think it's the game being described in the question though. According to Wikipedia, it concentrated on the land war.
    – JeremyP
    Apr 3, 2023 at 8:56
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    Falklands 82 was released in 1985 so it does not fit the question since the ship was actually sunk in 1982. I found "Jump Jet" which was released in 1982, but this does not quite fit. If the game was only available on teletext it might be quite difficult to find today.
    – idspispopd
    Apr 3, 2023 at 9:29
  • I read about the teletext game "Sink the Belgrano" last week - but no idea where
    – scruss
    Apr 4, 2023 at 0:52

1 Answer 1

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The game was called Obliterate, and it supposedly ran on the UK Prestel dialup service. The following clipping is from Time Magazine, according to https://cronotripper.substack.com/p/malvinas-y-los-videojuegos-cenizas

enter image description here

I also found the following story in the August 1982 edition of 80 Micro: enter image description here

The game (though not the controversy) is also referenced in the following US news article, dated 10th April 1982: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1982/04/10/New-video-war-game-features-Falkland-Islands/7638387262800/

The game, which is available in Argentina, Great Britain and the United States, is offered by Prestel, the world's first home-computer service, operated by British Telecom. The computerized data base of the game, along with the firm's other services, are hooked up to home TV sets over telephone lines. 'Obliterate,' introduced to the Prestel database three days ago, pits the British Royal Navy against the Argentine fleet in the Falklands. Elements of the game are updated each day based on news reports of British and Argentine plans and military movements. If a viewer, for example, blows up an Argentine ship, the screen flashes: 'Well done, sir! You have achieved your mission to obliterate the pride of the Argentine fleet. You are a national hero. Horatio would be proud of you.' About 16,000 British viewers pay for the service, which includes the game. The service also is available in Argentina, but it is not known how many people there had signed up for 'Obliterate.'

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    For non-Britons: the name of the Argentinian vessel, the Frey Bentos, in the British mind refers immediately to canned corn beef. (Fray Bentos is actually in Uruguay, not Argentina).
    – dave
    Apr 4, 2023 at 16:45
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    Well done! That image is the one I remember, so I assume the local papers got it off the newswire, like UPI. Apr 5, 2023 at 13:57
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    Since the game was available only for a limited portion of Prestel dialup customers and for only 5 days, does this count as the most obscure identify-this-game question we've ever had? Apr 5, 2023 at 20:11

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