Archive for September 2008
Clive’s latest wired column starts from the fun of political simulation games, and moves to ponder politics as a game.
the thing is, the game is clearly in need of a redesign. When you play Political Machine, you quickly realize – much as real-world candidates do – that you’re mostly worried about the small handful of vote-rich “swing” states, like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I won even though I almost completely ignored population-rich New York, California and Texas.
But the point is, thinking about American democracy as a game is not necessarily a bad thing. Quite the contrary: It might be the best way to fix it.
Yeah, I was thinking. I tend to treat my whole life as a game. One where I’m at the same time the designer, one of the main characters in the narrative, and a player.
When you design a game, you need to first decide on the objectives of play, and make sure the players are rewarded for maximising performance with respect of those. In a first-person shooter you’re king if you kill the most baddies, but you don’t get points for socialising or, say, negotiating a truth with the zombie hoards.
Now let’s look at the game US politics. We can’t interview the designers, so let’s apply the rule of “the purpose of a system is what it does“. Given the actions that the game rewards, what would you say are its objectives?
Finally. Someone says it out loud. Its not about the platform, the flash, the wiz, the bang. Its about getting unions – or any action group for that matter – to own their site. Owning it just like they own their placards and paint.
SO if they want a blog, give them a blog. If they want a FB page (yuck) let them have it, as long as they make it themselves.
Update (sept. 05): now its in the papers, so it must be true.
Eric Lee reports that Harry’s place, a popular British left-wing blog, had the wire cut by its ISP after posting the details of Jenna Delich, a Sheffield based academic who in the course of discussing the academic boycott of Israel on a trade union mailing list linked to the website of American KKK leader, neo-Nazi and Holocaust-denier David Duke.
So here’s me making the same accusations, posting the same picture. Sue me too.