Thursday, June 03, 2004

From today's Political Diary:
"Videogame maker Ubisoft Entertainment has announced a new game geared to the 2004 election, giving players the opportunity to act as campaign managers for John Kerry or George Bush or a candidate of their own creation. Joystick junkies will be in charge of setting policy, raising money and formulating electoral-college strategy. They'll also have a chance to show up on talking head shows such as "60 Seconds" and the "O'Maley Factor," loosely based on real shows, though perhaps not as a goofy.

Players also will have the option to go back and refight historical elections, serving as campaign manager to, say, FDR. Even more attractive to many voters this year (or any year), they'll be able to create their own imaginary candidates to insert in the current election. Voters will be able to invent idealized political heroes and give them made-up names like, oh say, Wesley Clark.

"The Political Machine" hits stores in July and reportedly makes heavy use of demographic data from the U.S. Census. Ubisoft first got the idea of an election simulation in the 2000 race, but decided the end result wouldn't be interesting since its model showed that Al Gore was so obviously a shoo-in. This year's model suggests George Bush is a loser (again) and also advises John Kerry to solve his Veep dilemma by picking Dick Gephardt.

Designer Brad Wardell told Reuters that novices may be surprised by the complexities of appealing to a wide array of voters. "A player who's not a political junkie quickly learns why real-world candidates seemingly flip-flop on the issues," he says.

No information was released on how the game maker goes about modeling campaign finance laws. Software, of course, is brutally unforgiving of errors in logic."

This might be the first video game I've bought in years.

1 comment:

Sandals said...

You may wish to check out Republic: The Revolution, in that case. Haven't tried it myself.