A new computer game about Arctic warfare will be released this spring.
The game, Naval War: Arctic Circle, is set in the Arctic in the year 2030. The world at odds over Arctic sovereignty and resources.
"You would be the admiral of the armed forces of your side of whatever conflict," said Norwegian developer Jan Haugland.
Over the internet, players would lead Russian or NATO forces in battle. The playing field is 36,000 kilometres of ice-free Arctic waters.
The game depicts real ships — one of which is HMCS Halifax.
The frigate has patrolled waters off the coast of Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The Royal Canadian Navy says it’s one of the most capable frigates in the world with powerful weapons and highly trained staff on board.
HMCS Halifax is the only Canadian vessel fighting the make-believe war.
The game also features fake news articles about escalating international tensions around the Arctic.
Students at the local middle school in Iqaluit said the game, which shows virtual battles playing out in their backyard, is fun.
"It looks awesome. It looks pretty cool because you have planes and boats you can drive," said Isaac Idlout, who is a member of the school’s gamer’s club.
The idea of a war in the North may have captured peoples’ imaginations, but most experts agree there is no military threat to Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.
The game’s designers hope it stays that way.
"We are very happy with leaving the war to the games. I think that’s the best place to have a war — in your computer," said Haugland.
The game is only PC friendly.