gearth What if you could use Google Earth for more than virtual journeys across the globe, flying through 3D cities, and finding hidden surprises?

What if you could use Google Earth to wage a virtual war and capture territories?

That’s exactly what Mickey Mellen did, eight years ago when he created GE War. Today, the game – run by the community that plays it – is still going strong, albeit still in developmental stages. Nonetheless, 1 300 cities feature in the game, and players can gather resources to trade with or build their armies. There are even nuclear attacks for attacks – because virtual war is serious business, and you have to protect your population from the inevitable.

For a community this old chances are that newcomers might be left a little intimidated and lost in the mire. Thankfully, GE War now has a boot camp tutorial for newcomers – and the only requirement is that you have Google Earth installed to play.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.