Industry News

The "mine sweeping" that was "persecuted" under the ban on thunder movements

In 1988, Wes Cherry, an intern trainee at Microsoft, used his free time to write a small game that was praised by Bill Gates: "The Solitaire."

At the time, Microsoft was developing its own graphical operating system, Windows, and it needed a practice path to help users transition from command line to graphic operation. "Solitaire" took full advantage of "click", "drag and drop" and other mouse actions, and was therefore Gates. Fancy, logically become the standard game of Windows3 operating system.

The "card" of the beach card has a smiley egg on its back, which is the source of the smile in "Mine Sweep".

Windows3's "Solitaire" is widely welcomed by users, and Microsoft will soon put more games on the agenda. Gates held a solicitation event inside the company to encourage subordinates to submit their own design works.

The programmer, Robert Donner, saw the opportunity and handed over the mine-sweeping game he had designed.

In 1989, Robert Donner, who had already worked for Microsoft in order to exercise his programming skills, wrote a mini-game aimed at "crossing the minefield" and sent it to some friends for testing. At the suggestion of a friend, the game mode and goal of the mini-game gradually evolved, and eventually it gradually took shape and was named by Mine as Minesweeper.

The "mine-sweeping" game with great fun was selected successfully, and it became a true "magnum opus" in 1990's first game of Windows 3's first paid entertainment expansion pack.

The names of the versions of Minesweeper are different, such as PMMine, Mine, Win Mine, and Minesweeper. This article is referred to as Minesweeper.

Microsoft's operating system has gained more and more market share. At that time, computer users were unable to extricate themselves in the mini-games that came with them. The Windows 95 and 98 two-generation operating systems have achieved great success. The free Mine Sweep is one of the most popular computer games. The random challenge is hard to be annoying, and the edge of death is too exciting. The majority of PC users are deeply in love with this stepped difficulty increase and there is also a game of luck.

But at this time, the "International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal" (ICBW) found Microsoft.

Mine clearance

The game of Minesweeper wasn't completely original. The game "Mined-Out" on the ZX Spectrum computer established the game of detecting mines and saving people in a checkered map as early as 1983. These games have been around since the beginning. "Mine" made a fuss.

Windows 95 and 98 popularized graphical operating systems at that time, but unfortunately it happened that the ICBL was the loudest voice.


In the Second World War, Italy ended the battle with surrender, but it also suffered from the war. At the end of the Second World War, Axis Powers deployed a large number of mines in Italy, which became a huge burden for the post-war countries. From August 1944 to June 1948, more than 1600 people surveyed 100,000 hectares of land and cleared 13 million unexploded ordnance and mines. This action cost more than 8 billion lire, which caused 525 injuries and 390 deaths.

American soldier demining in Italy

However, history once again put a heavy burden on the Italians: East and West began the Cold War, and they re-started the mine production line. Under the dual drive of huge profits and loose arms export restrictions, Italy’s anti-tank mines and anti-tank mines are sold all over the world, especially in the “hot spots” seen by arms dealers, such as Iraq, Morocco, and Somalia. Between 1976 and 1994, millions of Italian landmines were sold, and the corporate government was well-paid.

Landmines (especially landmines targeted at anti-personnel personnel) are seen as an extremely inhuman weapon. In World War II, the Cold War, and the chaos of the Third World countries, landmines not only created a large number of casualties but also directly threatened ordinary people's daily lives. In the early 1990s, six non-government groups from all regions of the world joined forces to establish an "International Anti-Leisure Organization."

International anti-landmine organizations launched the "International Campaign to Ban Landmines." Italy, which is considered one of the culprits, has become the target of condemnation of this movement. The huge pressure of public opinion has caused the Italian government not to persist for two years, hastily closed the mine production line and set stricter export specifications.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the first battle, urged more countries to identify with the organization’s goal of “prohibiting the use, production, storage, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines”. In just a few years, it had won 122 countries to sign the Ottawa Convention. In 1997, the International Anti-Leisure Organization and its founder Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize. No one can question the legitimacy of the “International Campaign to Ban Landmines”.

Jody Williams, who promotes thunder-blocking activities

Under the pressure of the mighty anti-mine movement, even industry giant Microsoft does not dare to neglect. In another campaign launched by Italian netizens in 2001, the International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal (ICBW) proposed that Microsoft should remove Minesweeper from the Windows Operating system, because "De-Sweeping" harms the Warriors who risk their lives to mine, and the vast majority of Landmine victims."

"The "Mine Sweeping" is simply a simple mini-game. How can it easily offend such a large number of landmine victims?" For programmers who have never experienced the war in person, it will undoubtedly be far-fetched to hear this invitation . However, considering the political correctness, Microsoft could not refuse to cooperate, so they adopted a compromise.

In 2000, Microsoft introduced Windows 2000 and made a change to Minesweeper: Windows2000 Italian version replaces Minesweeper with a game named "Hintian". The nature of the game in "Hua Tian" does not differ from "Mine Sweeping." It merely replaces land Mines with flowers, and changes the explosion sound effect into flowering. Simple replacement leaves many loopholes. In the game's documentation, people can still find the shadow of “mine sweeping”.

The Italian version of XP and 2000 are pre-installed with the "Hua Tian" game. This theme has been inherited from Vista.

Next, the "International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal" also called for more people to take the initiative to delete the "Mine Sweep" game in the computer, and urged Microsoft and the US government to use other games to replace the "Mine Sweep" installed by default in Windows.

At this stage, Microsoft is busy solving the problem of iterating the operating system kernel. Commercial Windows 2000 and home Windows ME are already quite heady. The entire company is busy developing XP and naturally does not care for a single game. Windows XP was officially released in 2001, and Minesweeper still used the 2,000-hour solution: the Italian version directly replaced with "Huatian."

International ban on mine-clearance movement ICBW

On the other hand, the "International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal" has not been smooth. The call for a ban on mine clearance did not receive widespread support. After a period of time, it only received less than 700 record-delete emails. The penetration rate of computers in developed countries is much higher than that of mines. Many Windows users feel that the problem of “mine clearance” is irrelevant. More people know nothing about this activity, even if they know it, they only hold it. "Follow me" is a cold-eyed look.

Windows XP was a great success. After the development of Windows Vista, engineers hoped to take the opportunity to redraw the interface and make the game more modern. At the same time, due to the long time, they also thought it was time to rewrite the "Mine Sweep" program. However, over the years, the “International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal” has never stopped. There is always a small group of users sending emails to Microsoft, requesting the removal of “mine-sweeping” that comes with the system, or replacing it with others that are not objectionable. game.

Dave Vronay, Microsoft's user experience research manager, complained that the Windows team had made the most of the problem but was forced to accept the reality that he could not please everyone. In order to better resolve this politically correct issue that cannot be simply ignored, Microsoft has arranged for many lawyers and geopolitics to submit land-sensitive regions and countries.

Therefore, when Windows Vista is installed, if the operating system's regional settings are on the list, the default installation game will be set to "Huatian," and countries outside the region will continue to install "mine clearance." And, users can change different versions according to their actual needs.

Vista version users can freely choose "mine sweeping" or "flower field"

Because Vista can't generate another program by simply replacing icons, sound effects, and names, Microsoft engineers spent some time solely rewriting the two games, Minesweeper and Flower Field. There is also a more realistic problem. "Mine Sweeping" is just a very simple and common application. Considering that returning Microsoft will not provide a little extra "man-made mines" to provide additional labor and capital costs, so before Vista is released The rewritten game can no longer be changed.

After the development of the free switch function of Flower Field and Minesweeper, Microsoft encountered a more distressing problem: Some countries are far more concerned than they thought in the "International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal." They don't even want users to play "Mine Sweeping." may. At this time, Windows Vista is nearing completion. It is impossible for Minesweep and Flower Field to make adjustments. Microsoft, who has abandoned itself, has no choice but to propose the simplest solution to violence:


"If your country is really unacceptable, then delete this game completely."
The final winner

As of March 2018, there were 164 states parties to the Ottawa Convention. Many countries have agreed that they will no longer produce, sell, or save mines in the future, and that they will clear minefields and assist mine victims and their families within a few years. The "International Campaign to Ban Landmines" promoted by the International Organization for the Prohibition of Landmines undoubtedly greatly promoted the peace process in war-torn areas and potential areas for war. It has made great contributions to world peace and has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

A glimpse of the virtual world, Windows' own game "mine sweeping" has also experienced many twists and turns. Win7 rushing into battle after the failure of Vista is still not free to make substantial changes to the "Mine Sweep." When Windows 8 went public, many people issued doubtful voices: "How did the "Mine Sweep" disappear?" Actually, players can download the latest version of "Mine Sweep" from the app store, but this version has once again undergone redo, "mines". The elements have almost disappeared.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmine De-mining has not achieved formal success, nor has it enjoyed widespread support for the ICBL. However, ten years of perseverance has finally allowed the movement to achieve its original purpose. The political correctness has caused the Internet industry giants to make concessions, but the cost is that the default installation package for Windows no longer includes the "Mine Sweeping" game, and the once-popular "Mine Sweep" racing will not use the flashy compromise of Win8. version.

Win8 version of mine clearance

The controversy over "Descratization" lasted for more than 10 years. During the process, there was indeed an over-proposition that players believed that this was a politically correct party. However, since Microsoft, as a party, did not express dissent, there was naturally no outsider who dared to "sweep" for mine clearance. 》Open the platform.

Perhaps it was following the trend, perhaps taking the irony that after the “International Campaign to Ban Landmine Removal,” another was pushing another controversial war on the NBC community platform: the world banned the “Board of Cards” campaign.


"Windows Solitaire seriously hurts individuals and families who are victims of gambling. It is recommended that they be banned."
The incident quickly disappeared and was forgotten.