Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

January 6, 2009 -

Before taking office on January 20th, Barack Obama might want to spend some time playing Democracy 2.

At least, that's the view of Cliff Harris of UK publisher Positech Games. Harris has offered a free copy of his firm's  political sim to any politician or candidate who would like to "practice."

Are you a politician? a candidate for real political office? an MP in the UK? A Senator or member of the House of Representatives in the US? or the equivalent anywhere in the world? If so, I...a humble games programmer from the UK would like to give you a free gift. a FREE copy of Democracy 2 for you to practice with.

 

There are no strings attached whatsoever, I won't publish your name anywhere unless you say I can, I'm not getting anything out of it other than the knowledge that just *maybe* I'm helping to make our current crop of politicians more prepared for the task ahead, especially with a global recession on the horizon.

Go on, give it a try, make your policy errors in a game, rather than making them for real...

For non-politicians, Democracy 2 is US$22.95, available for PC or Mac.

Via: Water Cooler Games


Comments

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

'The only model complex enough to simulate reality is reality.'

I seem to recall that axiom from somewhere..

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

I don't know where it comes from, but it's definitely accurately applied here.

That aside, I can't expect a politician to take such a thing seriously any more than someone else could expect me to play some kind of author/publisher simulation before I dive into the world of professional writing.

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

Protip for professional writing:

Use words that are offensive as often as possible.  It worked for that jackass who wrote lost in the city, people think it's profound, when really its a collection of 'short stories' that use the same plot over and over with interchanging names and is just as cookie-cutter as some of the newer Tom Clancy books.

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

Well. I really don't see the usefulness of this. A simulated model is only as good as the assumptions it's built on.

In lamen's terms: If a communist made the simulation and you played it as a capitalist, you would fail.

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

How do we know a policy error in a game will be one in real life, unless the dev thinks they know exactly what the public wants.

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

They don't. That is why it is called a simulation. I am surethe game is not hardcoded with what the dev's think the public wants. At least I hope not.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

I think it would be neat if they ran a site that did monthly polls asking people what they want, and have the game work off of that as long as the person has an online connection.

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

Polls that would be completely useless due to a skewed sample.

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

Then what opinion on the public's desires IS it coded with?  Or is it random?  Because either way, the game is worthless as a 'learning tool' or anything like it.  This whole thing smacks of a pompous developer making snide, passive-aggressive comments.

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

The limits of training simulators are that they work best in representing scientific or mechanical models, but not on models based on "soft sciences" or social sciences such as politics, where the outcomes are dictated by humans and not a fixed system. It would take some intense fuzzy logic programming as well as continuous updates to reflect the real world political climate to some degree.

GameSnooper

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

Isn't public opinion random anyway? I thought it was. Well, maybe not. Public opinion seems to flow in the following manner: Public demands A...two years later they are disatisfied with A and now want B...Two years later they are dissatisfied with B and now want A again. All the while ignoring C, D, E etc.

THat could be real easy to code.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

What about all the other things you have to consider?  The fact that in quite a few countries (America, for example) the average voter is uninformed on the basics of what they're voting for?  How about the fact that opinion is easily swayed via the media, which can create an altered picture of reality, or, even fabricate an all new one (my favorite spin is the one where Dick Cheney supposedly made billions off the war in Iraq, nevermind that in all his time at Halliburton he worked pro bono).  How about those issues that change all the time, like how everytime some idiot kid shoots up a school video game legislation and anti-gun legislation becomes popular?  What about the whole gay rights issue (where it changes state to state every other year in some places)? There's a million little nuances and that's just for one country.  I don't believe for one minute that a game that costs $22 dollars took all that into account.  Fuck, I don't believe that any game does.

Like I said earlier, I think the developer's just being a pompous dick while making snide, passive-aggressive comments. 

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

A generous offer, but i wonder how many politicians will actually take him up on it. The way i see it, most of the established Republicans and Democrats in the US, and the equivalents in other countries, will just laugh it off, whereas the new politicians, the ones who are starting their careers and are looking for a hook, might just be persuaded to give the game a go.

Still, its a nice idea...

Re: Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

Exactly, just like with SimCity some politicians hit it up just for the PR, saying it helped with city planning and so on.  Though I could see a minor help, there is no comparison to the real thing, which is as slow pace as can be because everyone takes forever to do the simplest of things. 

Oh wait, we need a study on this first, you know, because every state, county, or city around us has already done their own, we need our own too.  We can not just average theirs together, especially since they all came to the same conclusion.  We may come up with something different, then have to retest again to find out we were wrong.

Politics is just getting too washed out by BS and greed.  Who was it that said, every mother wants their son to become president, but not a politician.

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls
 
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