Author Topic: Democracy (Browser)  (Read 2562 times)

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Offline Chevalier laughingnome

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Democracy (Browser)
« on: August 01, 2008, 19:46:31 PM »
I saw an ad for this on Lankyland yesterday and, thinking it would be something like Pandemic thought it would be worth a try. I was suprised to find that it is not a flash game, rather then a downloadable demo. Nevertheless, I played it this morning and it's initial interest didn't disappoint.

The game is Democracy 2, an update from the original which is also available from the same sight. It promises to let the player control a country as a newly elected head of government and attempt to win re-election while stopping total chaos. This sounds like a simple premise, but the amount of detail that Positech Games have put into this is amazing. At the outset the player chooses one of 10 countries which each have their own identity - Environmentalist Capitalists, Religious, etc. The USA is the 10th (and presumably hardest) country while the other 9 are fictitious. The player then chooses what party they head, with enough choices to keep all political persuasions happy. This gave me some idea that a lot of effort had gone into the game, but it was when it started that it exploded.

The interface is simple and easy to navigate, if a bit slow to respond. The player has a wealth of information available to them on 7 areas of government - The Military, Welfare, The Economy, Taxation, Public Services, Law and Order, and Transport - as well as complete control over their Cabinet Staff (the choices of which effect how well policies are implemented) and copious amounts of polling data on 19 target groups. All this information interacts with every policy decision and how well to fund them, and different groups respond differently. For example, increasing the Petrol Tax will make the Motorists and Capitalists unhappy but will please the Environmentalists. There are other effects policy making has, such as causing (or eliminating) health and social problems. Too high an income tax can potentially make the amount of people living in poverty explode.

It sounds complicated, and initially I felt overwhelmed at the amount of power I held and information at my disposal, but after running through the demo I felt more at ease. I did cause I riot because of my petrol tax, but I don't care about those gas-guzzling motorists.

The only real drawback I felt to the game was the sluggish interface. The cursour seemed to be slow in movement and menus took a minute to pop-up. I feel this could be in part fixed by hot-keys, but the game doesn't seem to have any. It certainly does have the appeal of providing political power to be weilded with an Iron Fist, but I confess that I'm currently hesitant to pay US$22 for the full version.

Check out the demo here: http://www.positech.co.uk/democracy2/
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 08:25:24 AM by Superman »
Only you would bring up Music Man here.  ...and have it be totally relevant.

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Offline Superman

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2008, 02:20:30 AM »
Very interesting.

Offline lanky

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2008, 15:40:47 PM »
Cool
We're back baby!

Offline daddy

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008, 10:47:02 AM »
Does the game seem to have any political bias coming through it? 
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Offline Chevalier laughingnome

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 19:42:41 PM »
Does the game seem to have any political bias coming through it? 
No bias, it is very well balanced. The latest version allows you to choose to govern as the leader of the following parties, which depending on the country will affect the difficulty. For example governing a Liberal Capitalist country like Koana (fictional) will be harder as the Socialist Party then as the Democratic Conservatives. Naturally one could radically alter policy to appease the voters but the user will find themselves more hamstrung and starved of political power (necessary to implement policy, increase or decrease funding for policies or indeed do anything substantial in the game) in the begining.

As of version 1.18, the available parties are:
The Liberal Democrats
The Social Democrats
The Jehovah Party
The Democratic Conservatives
The Liberal Party
The Conservatives
The Republicans
The Democrats
The Justice Party
The Freedom Party
The National Unity Party
The Green Party
The Liberal Coalition
The People's Party
The People's Front
The Popular Front
The National Front
The People's Popular Front
The Labor Party
The Independance Party
The Reform Party
The Democratic Union
The Democratic Movement
The People's Movement
The Socialist Party
The Liberal Front
The Secular Party

It should be noted that words like "Liberal" have the connotation of freedom and not Conservatives, as the Australian Liberal Party is just plain crazy.

In addition to these mods can be downloaded from the website, some of which add more parties and some more focus groups and policy ideas. The entire program is very well researched and I can't find any hint of bias. The game itself has an encyclopedic function which gives the user a short history of, say, income tax when the income tax screen is called up. Even with this I've found the programmers to try to avoid any bias or skew, only facts so as to best help the player make their decision.
Only you would bring up Music Man here.  ...and have it be totally relevant.

Quote from: Bignose
Well, I want to eat pizza but I'm not sure I should order pizza. What should I do?...

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 14:17:07 PM »
But it's all capitalist democracies, right?
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Offline Superman

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2008, 15:51:16 PM »
I'm going to guess The Socialist Party isn't.

Offline Superman

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2008, 15:56:51 PM »
How much more do I have to pay to play as the People's Front of Judea?

Offline Chevalier laughingnome

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2008, 19:55:56 PM »
How much more do I have to pay to play as the People's Front of Judea?
Hahaha that did occur to me when I was writing them all out.

Spider: They are not all capitalist, and nor are the countries. The choices range from socialist to capitalist, wealthy to poor, natural disaster prone and no, religious and athiest, etc, etc. Trust me, you are covered.
Only you would bring up Music Man here.  ...and have it be totally relevant.

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Well, I want to eat pizza but I'm not sure I should order pizza. What should I do?...

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2008, 21:25:22 PM »
I'm just asking.  I don't mind if it is all capitalist.

And the meaning of the word 'socialist' varies quite a bit, and doesn't preclude capitalistic systems, particularly when Americans use the word.
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Offline Superman

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2008, 06:57:22 AM »
Again, I'd have to read up on my Marx, but didn't he describe Socialism as a moderate form of Communism or a transitional stage between Capitalism and Communism.

Offline daddy

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2008, 14:50:45 PM »
Marx describes Marxism which is primarily communism.  Socialism is a word that's given different meanings even if that's not what it originally was. 

Americans on the interwebs most often use the word "socialist" to describe any country with government-funded health care, for example. European countries are apparently socialist.  Libertarians use the word socialist for anyone who isn't libertarian.  If the game used the same definition of socialism, then the countries would still have a monetary profit-driven economy with a whole bunch of services are provided by the government through heavy taxation.  I was trying to ascertain that.
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Offline Chevalier laughingnome

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2008, 16:14:37 PM »
The countries would still have a monetary profit-driven economy with a whole bunch of services are provided by the government through heavy taxation.  I was trying to ascertain that.
That sounds like what makes the socialist groups in each country happy. They like it when I tax the bejesus out of the wealthy and the corporations and spend it all on government programs. This also seems to make the State Workers happy as they get more money.

For some reason it doesn't matter what I do, the conservatives and the retired people hate me and vote en masse for my removal. Damn old conservatives.
Only you would bring up Music Man here.  ...and have it be totally relevant.

Quote from: Bignose
Well, I want to eat pizza but I'm not sure I should order pizza. What should I do?...

Offline Superman

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2008, 08:11:47 AM »
Hmm, I don't know where I got that Socialism as a transitional stage thing then.

I think when we (the Americans you speak of) use Socialist that way we're often using it as an adjective instead of a title.  "Universal state funded health care is a socialist policy."  I don't think that is saying that policy is necessarily Socialist or enacted by a Socialist government but that it has Socialist qualities.  I'm trying to think of a good example of a similar use of another word, but nothing's coming to me right now.  I'll be back.

Otherwise it's just another poor word that's been co-opted, perverted, and mangled and you'll just have to ask for clarification for the rest of your life.  Sorry.

Offline Chevalier laughingnome

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2008, 20:08:56 PM »
Spider can cope. Or she can take a Constitutional Monarchy, put the Government in charge of Industry and watch the masses follow. Oh wait, I already tried that and look what happened. Shame about the name of the Party, but I did overthrow the monarchy.
Only you would bring up Music Man here.  ...and have it be totally relevant.

Quote from: Bignose
Well, I want to eat pizza but I'm not sure I should order pizza. What should I do?...

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2008, 04:08:06 AM »
Screw democracy.

Look where it's got us.

We need to create another empire.


Offline Poopyhead pianoman ♫

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 07:57:04 AM »
I'm with Zephlon.

Americans on the interwebs most often use the word "socialist" to describe any country with government-funded health care, for example. European countries are apparently socialist.
Otherwise it's just another poor word that's been co-opted, perverted, and mangled and you'll just have to ask for clarification for the rest of your life.  Sorry.
Actually, I empathise with spider. Socialism is a distinct system, so I was understandably confused when I would hear things like, "Obama is a socialist!" Naturally, I assumed the USA was on a path to become the new red state.

If someone describes a "commie" policy, it's viewed as inflammatory. If someone describes a socialist policy, it's just another adjective like "progressive" or "liberal".
LOL @ Pam... if I had $20 for every time someone used that word with me... well....

I'd probably have like $60

Offline Superman

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 08:05:41 AM »
I guess two and a half years ago, I hadn't caught on to that fad yet. Yes, "socialist" certainly has been thrown around a lot by certain American activists in contexts that make no sense whatsoever lately.

Offline Poopyhead pianoman ♫

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 08:45:52 AM »
I really should watch more Fox News. Did you know we get that here, on Cable TV? Yes. Yes, we do. I did try to watch it once—to confirm that it was crazy—I think I lost my mind.
LOL @ Pam... if I had $20 for every time someone used that word with me... well....

I'd probably have like $60

Offline daddy

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 09:12:05 AM »
I wanted to comment on an online Fox news article once, but it said I had to sign up first.  So I did.  Best decision ever, otherwise I never would have seen an article about how Ronald Reagan was "more of a friend to blacks than Obama".   Written by Michael Reagan.
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