Monday, November 03, 2008
The must-play game of the year
A while back, I reviewed Stardock's The Political Machine 2008 for Paste. It's a turn-based strategy game all about the presidential election, with fairly realistic simulations of campaign fundraising, political ads, and the all-important electoral college. It was a lot of fun, even for a remedial strategist such as myself.
As much as I decry ever referring to a video game as "just a game," they're all just games compared to a real-life presidential election. Many of us are spending the season agonizing over which hot new release to get. Even when we settle on one, we immediately feel like we made the wrong call. ("Why, oh why did I leave Fallout just sitting on the shelf?") It's probably not much of an exaggeration to say that gamers are putting serious brainpower into figuring out how to cope with all these games. But the impact of that decision pales beside the consequences of a presidential election. With a teetering economy, people losing their homes, two wars, and countless other obstacles facing us all, I am begging you, if you haven't yet, to spend just a little bit of time today not thinking about games, and instead thinking about who to vote for.
In the movie WarGames, the computer realizes that the only way to win a nuclear war is not to play. Voting is the opposite: the only way to lose is not to play. So please go out there tomorrow and cast your ballot for whatever candidate you think is the best choice, based on their stated policies. Every election is important, and this one is no different. Nothing else you do all year will matter as much.
(There, I made it through a couple paragraphs without getting cute or editorializing. I'll just hit the "publish post" button here and --
OH GOD I CAN'T HELP IT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS PURE AND GOOD IN THIS WORLD VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA YES WE CAN)