Re: Good political thinking made more compelling

From: joost (
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 13:38:57 MST

At 11:14 4/01/2002 +0100, you wrote:
>The other suggestion is that much of it should be modelable into a
>computer simulation. Doing the modeling, then showing what happens
>when you add a law, etc., should be enlightening. (One obvious
>difficulty is that one of the main virtue of freedom is invention
>brought by diversity, and invention doesn't seem very easy to model ;
>but you could use genetical algorithms on a specific solution space for
>Imagine that you make a big hit with such a game. Suddenly most young
>people are equipped with the right concepts, and the habit to think
>dynamically about these things.
>Make it accessible on the Internet, as a Java application or as a
>downloable software, so that anyone can play the legislator and have a
>look at how things evolves. "Make social justice if you can !" Make it
>Better yet make it a multiplayer game, replacing much of the simulated
>decisions by decisions actually made by the human players in the given
>context, and making the experience much more convincing. Any other
>suggestion ?

It should be easy to modify an existing game, and get an educational
licence. Problem would be that the (govt owned) educational market for such
a game would probably like to see whatever it is they are teaching, proven
by such a simulation. Rather than a model that may prove the oposite. For a
commercial market, the game should be fun, and to most kids fun means
explosions or car races, so finding funding for such a project won't be easy.

In most "god-sim" strategy games with an economical aspect, the laissez
faire principle generally works best, (which generally isn't much more than
having low taxes). Most of those games however also show the kids playing
them, that going to war with one of the other players can be very

If you're serious about making such a game, i'd advise you to check out
"Simcity 3000", as well as an older game called "Shadow President". They're
both games that have a little bit more than the average simplified "tax"
model (on the city social/economic level and on global foreign policy
respectively), they're both games that though being more complex than the
standard game in their genre, succeeded in keeping the "fun" appeal of a


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