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Saturday, August 31, 2013

DoD has problems locating Damascus in new map quiz

DoD has problems locating Damascus in new map quizscreenshot from http://toys.usvsth3m.com/damascus/


As military actions against the Syrian government remains a hot topic of negotiations, it has inspired professional quizzers to ask people to pinpoint Damascus on an interactive map. The US Department of Defense has apparently encountered problems.
“Where is Damascus? The US and the UK (crossed out) are probably to bomb it. Do you know where it is?”ask the authors of the game, suggesting that players click on the map and pinpoint the city.

A fresh map then appears, showing you how many miles away from reality your answer is.

In general results show that people know the Syrian capital is located in the Middle East and close to the sea.
The social media website usvsth3m.com, whose team created the game, said in an analysis released on Friday that "More than 50% of our players guessed within 200 miles." 
However, government departments’ results were traced and yielded some worryingly inaccurate estimates. 

“We…had 65 guesses from within the US Department of Defense,”
 revealed the statistics. “57% got it right at the DoD, compared to 64% in the [UK] Houses of Parliament [out of 139 guesses].”
65 guesses came from within the US Department of Defense (Picture from http://usvsth3m.com/)
65 guesses came from within the US Department of Defense (Picture from http://usvsth3m.com/)

While some British lawmakers seemed to be engaging in deliberate self-sabotage, placing the country in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, for example, it looked like the DoD employees were making errors completely obliviously.

“The folks in the DoD haven’t gone for blatantly wrong places; instead they’re still guessing all over the Middle East. We don’t think they’re joking,”
 said the report released on Friday.

While it might be difficult to pinpoint a city on a blank map, still “quite a few people knew” where Damascus was, according to the game’s creators. 
However, some accidentally picked the Black or Caspian Seas rather than the Mediterranean Sea as touching its coastline.

“Many of these guessed somewhere in the Sahara Desert, or in the Balkan states. Two people picked Siberia. One person picked Texas. They were probably joking,” a team of Us Vs Th3m wrote.
In total, more than 100,000 people played the game by the moment the report was released, according to their figures.