The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

June 19, 2008 -

I've been playing around with Stardock's The Political Machine 2008, which arrived in the mail a couple of days back.

While dealing with a serious topic, its graphics give the game a light-hearted feel. After working through the tutorial, I made the mistake of jumping into Campaign mode, which pitted my candidate of choice - Al Gore - against... Ulysses S. Grant.

WTH?

'twas then I realized that the campaign mode runs you through a series of elections against historical figures. Beating Grant unlocked Richard Nixon, and so forth. What I really wanted to use was the Quickplay mode, which allows you to pick your opponents. So I ran Gore against McCain. And then Obama against McCain with Gore as VP. And then an Obama-Hillary slate. McCain, for some reason, kept picking Dick Cheney as his running mate.

While not a truly hardcore sim, the game does get you focused on electoral votes, campaign finances and the whole red state-blue state thing. Based on my early impressions, it's well worth the $20 asking price. I'll have more to say in my Philadelphia Inquirer column on June 27th.


Comments

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Has anyone figured out how the opposing candidate chooses their running mate? GP said his McCain kept picking Cheney, but I've yet to see McCain pick anyone other than Romney for his running mate.

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

I take it there's no way to run a Cthulhu/Hasur ticket? Will I have to settle with McCain and Cheny? *Pauses for lame pun laughs* Cheap shots aside, I was wondering if there was any customized input or not.

 

 

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

You can make custom candidates. I am not sure how in depth it is as I haven't tried out the feature, but it is there.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

*Hastur

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

I haven't bought it yet, though I plan to. Are there differences between the eras you play in? Is it just in the issues you have to deal with?

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

I haven't had a chance at 2008 yet, but if it's anything like 2004 I think you guys are sort of missing the point -- or at least focusing on the wrong feature.

 

The game does have real-life politicians as characters, to flesh out the narrative and add a layer of fun (or at least silliness), but the game is not at all about predicting which real-life candidate is going to win the real-life election this coming November.

 

The way I played it, at least, the game is all about the mechanics of the system -- the way that the presidency is actually won and lost in our country. That is, as far as modeling the workings of the electoral college goes, I'd say the Political Machiine is about as "hardcore" a sim as you could ask for.

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Exactly. I love that aspect of the game. One of the first things that tips you off on that is one of the default Republican candidates is an alien.

You get to create your own candidates and run elections from most any era.

It is great to be able to slam McCain for anything I want. I was slamming him on everything even if it wasn't a real position of his. Just pick a topic that would lower his standing with all parties and do it. Fun stuff.

But just trying it out, the current running is a great place to start.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

You mean just like I could slam Obama and Hillary for anything I want if it lowers their standing with the Democrats?  Yay!


 

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

What do you mean? Its already happening in Real life, why would you want to do it in a game?

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Sounds like an interesting game. If I actually cared about the US elections, I'd probably play it.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Oh gee, what a shock. GP picks the dem candidates. The smart thing would have been not to tell us who you picked. But of course, anyone who reads this site knows GP is a liberal rag.

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

GP = Liberal rag?

That would explain why GP makes sense and doesn't bitch and complain like certain people.

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Across the entire western hemisphere, the USA is the only country in which liberalism is frowned upon. The only real value of conservatism is "more money for bastards" in the words of Frankie Boyle.

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Well, trends show that the more educated somebody is,  the more liberal they are. (With a few minorly notable exceptions, though thier intellegence is somewhat suspect.) 

And the people behind GP seem like a smart group...

So, if the glove fits...

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

You do sound pretty close to trying to troll there...

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

McCain, for some reason, kept picking Dick Cheney as his running mate.

Funny, considering he's been accused of running for Bush's 3rd term. :)

On the other hand, they need to patch the game, McCain has declared he's definitely not picking Cheney for his Veep.

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

Please post a link to your Phili. Inq. column when it's posted!

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

From the box art, it looks like they really expected Hilary to beat Obama

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

I don't think that was intentional. In the opening video, they have Obama and Clinton fighting for the lead in the race to the Whitehouse.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

Re: The Political Machine 2008: First Impressions

I had a go at this last night myself. I will have a review of it posted on my site tonight.

I ran a quick play mode as Obama vs. McCain. Obama trounced McCain. 406 electorial votes to whatever was left. McCain won the midwest from Texas to North Dakota. But Obama had almost everything else. I even spent less than McCain.

The game is great fun.

Dennis, we should get together some time and play againast each other.

Also, I love the alien Republican.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

 
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NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
 

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