I have lately become obsessed with World War II. So much so, that I’ve rented most of Band of Brothers on DVD, read the book the show was based on and even bought another book by Stephen Ambrose -- D-Day.

My interest comes as a result of playing Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Battlefield: 1942 on PC. World War II deathmatch on the internet -- young men whose grandfathers fought in the war (and in some cases, great grandfathers) pretending to fight in the safety of their bedrooms and home offices. I never imagined I’d be one of those guys who plays online games an hour a night -- never thought that those self-same games would get me interested in history. But they have. PC games obviously can have an educational influence -- most of the guys I play with are also interested in history now after being exposed to it in-game.

What is it that makes the World War II setting so appealing? America today is such a corrupt country -- our elected officials maintain power through bribes from large donors, most policy is written to pay back special interests of all sorts (religious, corporate, labor, etc.). We’re about to invade a country that hasn’t attacked us -- justified by trumped up “evidence” that basically amounts to the President and his cronies suggesting there’s a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda that clearly doesn’t exist. I have a cousin in the Army Airborne, and I’m scared he’s going to die in Iraq.

By contrast the World War II era seems just. The Axis powers were bent on conquering the world, and Hitler was committing genocide. When I was a kid growing up, I never understood it when people talked about the “sacrifice” of the men who served in that war, what they gave up so we could be “free.” The words were just abstractions, meaningless. Now I get it. Now I understand.

All because of a video game. Joe Lieberman would be appalled.