So what if someone (this means iD, Blizzard, Westwood and/or Sierra/ValvE) were to make a hypermassive multiplayer online RTS/RPG/FPS? With almost all aspects of war integrated? Imagine someone playing a flesh-and-blood general on a tactical level, sending out orders to real, live players in a flight sim with F/A-18 Hornets to attack a SAM site staffed with more real, live people. On the ground, there would be battles fought between tanks and Delta Force-style snipers would seek out the opponent's leaders.
The client would use the same basic engine for gameplay with different GUIs for the different levels, kinda like Counterstrike is a mod to Half-Life which basically is a mod of Quake. When starting, you select if you want to be Air Force, Navy or Army and then what you want to do: Pilot a fighter, manage supply routes, man a SAM battery, aim a howitzer, crack enemy codes or be a grunt with a machine gun. Imagine the clans/platoons/squadrons that would evolve. Positions that no one wants would be filled by computer-generated players on the servers. Ah, the servers. One game on a cluster of servers world-wide. And there would be real-world money in it. Arms dealers would spring up on eBay. Whoever makes this game will be rich - if they do it right. And I've got prior art.
Of course, this doesn't have to be set in a realistic world, the Game could easily work StarCraft-style or for NOD vs GDI or for replaying most of WWII.
Now, methinks this can be built. Should it be done? Would it help ease tension in the world - act as an outlet for agression if you could bomb the crap out of a simulated Afghanistan? Or would Al-Qaida use it as a training camp? Discuss.
One client to fight them all, and on the battlefield smite them.