Online Games Lampoon Disgraced Illinois Guv

January 22, 2009 -

Shawn Recinto of HeadlineGames dropped by GamePolitics the other day to let us know that a pair of games loosely based on the misadventures of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are available.

Blago Run, a Frogger-like affair, challenges players to guide Senate hopefuls past FBI and police patrols in search of President Barack Obama's former seat.

Meanwhile, Blago Red Tape Breakout is a Breakout clone in which Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan must get her supoena past rows of red tape in order to serve Blagojevich with impeachment papers.

4 comments

One Final Bush-Bashing Game

January 20, 2009 -

As George W. Bush turns over the reigns to Barack Obama today, online gamers will have their final chance to zing the 43rd president.

Goodbye, Mr. Bush is a whack-a-mole sort of affair in which players hurl objects at a cartoon version of Dubya which pops up in various locations on the White House lawn. Weapons of choice include eggs, candy and, of course, shoes.

The game, like the man it lampoons, will soon be forgotten. But there is one clever moment. Players who choose Weapons of Mass Destruction to hurl at Bush are informed that WMD can't be found.

Hmmm... Where have we heard that before?

If you'd like to give it a try, click the thumbnail image to play.

Via: Huffington Post

 

12 comments

Can You Save the Economy? Play The Bailout Game

January 14, 2009 -

While the current state of the economy isn't much fun, The Bailout Game offers a somewhat entertaining look at the financial mess wrought by the ugly marriage of Wall Street greed and governmental ineptitude.

The web-based offering uses board game-style interface and challenges the player to selectively bailout financial institutions and the auto industry, all the while trying to keep one step ahead of recession.

Although we found the game worth a try, Ian Bogost of Water Cooler Games was less enthusiastic:

The game itself is a repetitive and seemingly meaningless trudge from square to square (bank to bank), each offering the same basic question: Do you bail out: YES or NO? No matter your answer, you'll get an animation or video with some vaguely related news bit or textual riff...

 

I was never able to determine why or how the game wanted me to chose to bail out specific banks or to let them fail, save for invoking the "Ask a Greenspan" button or following obvious hints on the playing cards. It's games like this that make me wonder if I should give up tracking them entirely.

9 comments

Latest Gaza Conflict Game is Pro-Israeli

January 14, 2009 -

In recent days GamePolitics has covered web games propagandizing the current Gaza conflict from both the Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints.

The latest of these is Iron Dome which takes the Israeli perspective. Along with a Missile Command-esque interface, Iron Dome offers three levels of difficulty as well as several links offering the Israeli version of the issues behind the conflict.

GP: Thanks to GamePolitics reader Itamar for the tip!

26 comments

New Game Is a Protest of Israeli Invasion of Gaza

January 7, 2009 -

At the Georgia Tech News Games Project, Ian Bogost discusses Raid Gaza!, an editorial game dealing with Israel's offensive against Hamas in Palestine.

Raid Gaza! is hosted at Newgrounds and has an RTS-like interface in which the player, acting as the Israeli side, builds structures and uses them to create military units which are then launched against the Palestinians.

Of the game, Bogost writes:

The game argues against the justification of Israeli attacks on Gaza, representing them as unprovoked and characterizing Israel's response as overt aggression. The game's goal is to kill as many Palestinians as possible in a three minute session...

The game is headstrong, suffering somewhat from its one-sided treatment of the issue at hand. But as an editorial, it is a fairly effective one both as opinion text and as game... It's release on user-contributed animation and games portal Newgrounds came on 30 December 2008, only three days after the Israeli Defense Forces launched airstrikes...

Raid Gaza! was probably not created by a journalist nor a professional game developer (it was submitted to Newgrounds eponymously). Still, the piece was timely, coherent, and exerted commentary that is appreciable, even if it is not profound...

64 comments

Publisher Wants Politicians to Practice with Computer Game

January 6, 2009 -

Before taking office on January 20th, Barack Obama might want to spend some time playing Democracy 2.

At least, that's the view of Cliff Harris of UK publisher Positech Games. Harris has offered a free copy of his firm's  political sim to any politician or candidate who would like to "practice."

Are you a politician? a candidate for real political office? an MP in the UK? A Senator or member of the House of Representatives in the US? or the equivalent anywhere in the world? If so, I...a humble games programmer from the UK would like to give you a free gift. a FREE copy of Democracy 2 for you to practice with.

 

There are no strings attached whatsoever, I won't publish your name anywhere unless you say I can, I'm not getting anything out of it other than the knowledge that just *maybe* I'm helping to make our current crop of politicians more prepared for the task ahead, especially with a global recession on the horizon.

Go on, give it a try, make your policy errors in a game, rather than making them for real...

For non-politicians, Democracy 2 is US$22.95, available for PC or Mac.

Via: Water Cooler Games

14 comments

Games Based on Iraqi Shoe Toss Incident Keep on Coming

December 19, 2008 -

By our count, Bush's Shoe Dodge (screen shot at left) is game #5 based on the now-famous incident in which an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush during a recent news conference.

Flash games based on Muntader al-Zaidi's shoe toss have been arriving on the Web at the rate of one per day. The latest offering comes from Atom. It's the second game in which you play as the President with the goal of dodging al-Zaidi's shoes. The other game based on Dubya's perspective is Flying BaBush.

Of the remaining games, in two (SockAndAwe and Can You Throw a Shoe at Bush?) you play as al-Zaidi, while in Bush's Boot Camp players assume the role of a Secret Service agent.
 

6 comments

Have Browser Games Taken Over the Role of Politicial Cartoons?

December 19, 2008 -

On Sunday, an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at President Bush during a press conference.

Within days, nearly a half-dozen Flash games lampooning the incident appeared on the web (you'll find all of them linked here on GamePolitics).

Given the speed and reach of the web, the Amazon Game Room Blog wonders whether browser games have replaced the role of the political cartoon in modern society:

Web-based flash games continue to take over the satirical role that political cartoons once filled... Our country has a rich and scathing history of political satire in cartoon form in newspapers and magazines and anyone who noticed how fast the [various Bush/shoe games] popped up on the Web after the footwear was flung... should be able to acknowledge the potential for this in flash technology.

 

The games are certainly is no works of art, but they were not designed to be awe inspiring. They were instead designed to capture the moment, and immortalize it from a particular point of view that people in this particular time can appreciate, or at least recognize. In a hundred years... these snippets of code will offer a window into the past... it is all just part of a media continuum that stretches forward and back further than we know.

8 comments

Step Into Barack Obama's Shoes with "Commander in Chief"

December 10, 2008 -

Barack Obama will take over a mess of historicial proportions when he is inaugurated in January.

Gamers can get a feel for some of the issues that will be faced by the President-elect with Commander in Chief, a soon-to-be-released strategy game for the PC.

AppScout previews Commander in Chief, which is being developed by Eversim, a Frech company:

Players begin by selecting members of the Cabinet and heads of states from "250 personality types and 20 variables including age, gender, political leaning, religion, charisma, competence, popularity, etc...."

The Player President then begins facing internal and external decision-making, and every decision comes with a consequence. The player must navigate budgets, security, education, health care, special interests, and critics. Cut spending, and encounter outrage from special interest groups; raise taxes, and hear the complaints of taxpayers.

In addition to domestic issues, the game proposes to replicate real-world international situations and circumstances with detailed maps showing 192 countries and 8,000 cities, and comes pre-loaded with information on each country, such as unemployment levels, arms production, inflation rates, stock markets, sports... Players can determine the course of world events by invading countries, plotting assassinations, brokering trade agreements and spending time with fellow world leaders.

GP: Obviously, a complex strategy game like this won't appeal to everyone, but it's definitely on my list. Commander in Chief will launch in the U.S. on January 20th, the same day on which Obama will be sworn in.

9 comments

One We Missed: Steal This Election Game

November 14, 2008 -

Although GamePolitics tracked numerous election-themed games during the presidential campaign, we just stumbled across one of more unique and interesting ones.

Steal This Election is slick look at how to use dirty tricks to win the White House. The game has more attitude and atmosphere than most of the other offerings we've seen, which are generally variations on martial arts, FPS or whack-a-mole.

Our only gripe is that the online game is broken. GP's candidate (a Sarah Palin knockoff) won with 182% of the vote. Also, there doesn't seem to be much replayability. No matter which candidate you choose, the dirty tricks are the same. It made sense in the game for my Palinesque character to paint Obama as a terrorist, since that was, unfortunately, an actual theme in the election. It made less sense to have the same tactic available for the Obama-like character to use against the game's faux McCain.

Despite these rather significant flaws, Steal This Election is worth a look if political games float your boat. Let's hope that they fix the game mechanics by the time November, 2012 rolls around.

GP: Okay, that's it. No more election games. Probably...

8 comments

Ian Bogost Talks Games and Politics at Harvard

November 14, 2008 -

Gene Koo of Valuable Games live-blogs an appearance by serious games guru Ian Bogost (left) at a Harvard study group led by Nicco Mele:

Video games [serve] as a centrifying values issue, making it very cheap [for politicians] to decry video games. Ian mentions the ECA (Entertainment Consumers Association), and the idea of a union of video game players, or a common identity among gamers, “weirds” him out.

Gamer demographics — if there are political games, whom will they reach?: There’s a lot of bad data, but… see the Entertainment Software Association. The better question is to break them down by style/type. Ian’s own games — TSA game since 2006 has approached 50M plays. (< $10K to build).

An Obama game could really sell. Who wouldn’t buy an Obama game? Well...

So what about an abortion game that attempts to help each side understand the perspective of the other side of the debate? ...

Nicco mentions that the [Howard] Dean [2004] campaign’s game did inspire people to donate, get involved. Ian wonders if this idea will “peak” (novelty factor).

The problem is that the vast majority of these [political] games are meaningless tripe. See Ian’s discussion of Pork Invaders, in the Gamasutra article, and also the contrast with Tax Invaders as a rhetorical device.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

Bogost: Campaign-sponsored Games are Down from 2004 Election

October 30, 2008 -

In his Gamasutra column, Georgia Tech prof Ian Bogost writes of the decline of the officially-sponsored campaign video game:

The 2004 election cycle saw the birth and quick rise of the official political video game... It was easy to get public attention around such work, and indeed one of the benefits of campaign games revolved around their press-worthiness. By the final weeks of the last election cycle, all signals suggested that campaign games were here to stay.

But, as Bogost notes, only the McCain campaign's dreary Pork Invaders emerged in the 2008 presidential election season. There were, however, a plethora of unofficial games, as tracked by GamePolitics. Bogost, who has designed political games himself, does not regard them highly:

Unofficial political games also made few innovations this year. The largest crop of them are game-like gags about Sarah Palin, from the almost-topical Polar Palin to the toy-like Palin as President to the wildlife sendup Hunting with Palin to a series of Palin chatterbots to the inevitable whack-a-mole clone Puck Palin.

We'll have to take issue with Bogost's head count of commercial games with political themes. While he does mention The Political Machine 2008 and the very forgettable Hail to the Chimp, he seems to miss Democracy and President Forever.

If politically themed games are indeed dwindling, why is that happening? Bogost suggests that campaigns are turning to other online resources:

There are reasons games have grown slowly compared to other technologies for political outreach. The most important one is also the most obvious: since 2004, online video and social networks have become the big thing, as blogs were four years ago...

 

Online video became the political totem of 2008, from James Kotecki's dorm room interviews to CNN's YouTube debates. At the same time, the massive growth in social network subscriptions made social connectivity a secondary focus for campaign innovation, especially since Facebook opened its pages beyond the campus in 2006.

1 comment

White House Tower Defense: Political Twist for Tower Genre

October 29, 2008 -

Just when I thought that I had overcome my tower defense game addiction, along comes White House Tower Defense.

From the description at Kongregate:

Players can use characters such as Vice-Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, who sits astride a moose, armed with a tranquilizer gun. Joe Biden is also represented in the game, sitting atop an Amtrack train, “gaffing” his way to victory. The game includes most of the political season’s key players, from George Bush to Bill Clinton...

In this game, the map is Washington DC, and the path leads to the White House. The player is trying to prevent Democrats or Republicans from reaching the White House and gaining 270 electoral votes

Unlike the rash of current Flash games which drop Obama, Biden, McCain and especially Palin into goofy Mortal Kombat or FPS-style action, White House Tower Defense is one political game you'll still enjoy after the campaign is over.

GP: Big thanks to GamePolitics reader CMiner for recommending this one...

3 comments

Finally, a Sarah Palin Game that's Not a Shooter

October 20, 2008 -

Although we griped last week about the seemingly never-ending stream of Sarah Palin-themed games, we found one this morning that breaks the standard Sarah-shooting-at-stuff mold.

Palin as President is an entertaining trifle which explores how the controversial Guv might perform in the White House. It's definitely good for 3-5 minutes of work avoidance at the office. Forward it to 19 other people and - presto! - you've sabotaged an entire hour of organizational productivity.

Via: Political Irony

4 comments

Rock the Quote Challenges Your Knowledge of Candidates

October 19, 2008 -

Boston-based Metaversal Studios has released Rock the Quote, a web-based game which challenges how much players know about remarks made by November hopefuls John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Players earn two points for correctly identifying a quote and one point for getting just the party right. Three wrong answers leads to game over.

Metaversal Studios' founder Jay Laird, lead designer on Rock the Quote, talked about his game:

With over 100 questions, we have yet to see anyone finish the game... [While watching the debates] I noticed how many of the candidates' sound-bites seem interchangeable. Sure, there are things like the hockey-mom references that make it easy, but when it comes down to the bigger issues, I wonder how many people can tell the difference.

 

[For example,] McCain says he won't raise taxes, while Obama says he'll cut them for 95% of Americans.  In the past, you'd expect the latter promise to come from a Republican, and I bet a lot of people would still make that assumption.

It was pretty depressing to hear Biden say so forcefully that he doesn't support gay marriage.  I know it's a political maneuver to try to hold on to some socially conservative votes, but now that 3 out of 50 states have legalized it, you'd think they'd make it part of their 'change' initiative.

Rock the Quote is planned as a trilogy, with the second part launching on Tuesday. Check Metaversal's Burning Village site for updated news on RTQ.

Truth Invaders Game Busts Campaign B.S

October 16, 2008 -

Online games spoofing the 2008 presidential election are plentiful these days, but Truth Invaders takes one of the more unique approaches that we've seen.

In the Space Invaders knockoff, players select among several questionable statements made by both the Obama and McCain campaigns and then try to turn lies (red) to truth (green).

Designer Jeremy Bernstein, who previously created The Redistricting Game, describes Truth Invaders as FactCheck.org meets Space Invaders.

3 comments

Major Update to President Forever 2008 + Primaries

October 15, 2008 -

Theory Spark has issued a hefty patch for its excellent campaign sim, President Forever + Primaries.

The game has been decribed as "part SimCity, part C-SPAN" by the Washington Post. It's certainly the deepest of the current crop of political games.

If you're a current player, be sure to grab the update, as auto-patching has been disabled.

1 comment

Game Lets Players Predict U.S. Election, Win $$$ for Charity

October 13, 2008 -

A clever online game offered by Peritus Public Relations of Louisville, KY challenges players to predict which states will be carried by Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama in November 4th's presidential election.

Peritus will send $1,000 to the winner's favorite charity. And, no, your PS3 acquisition fund is not among the list of eligible charities...

I registered and gave it a try. It's fun to use the interactive map of electoral votes to make a prediction, although the registration process was slightly intrusive. Why do they need my address? Confession to Peritus: I lied.

Here's some info from the press release:

We are a firm of veritable political junkies... We created this game because we wanted to inject some fun into the political season while benefiting a charity at the same time. We felt by creating a game that was essentially unprecedented, and entertaining we would be able to reach to people who are generally politically apathetic. So we asked ourselves, why can’t politics be fun for everyone?

The Peritus Pundit gives the user an opportunity to compete against a national audience of political enthusiasts in picking the next President of the United States. The winner picks a charity of their choice and our firm will donate a $1,000 to the organization...

7 comments

Darker Moments of India's Politics Featured in Online Game

October 3, 2008 -

GP sister site GameCulture points us to Singh Is King.

The Flash game, posted on an Indian website, parodies the numerous political struggles faced by India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh:

Singh Is King's charm and goofball mood belies the black humor behind the game's obstacles. There's the obvious, such as a grinning President Bush floating in air with an outstretched arm, but there are also references to the PM's frequent clashes with India's communist party... as well as India's failure to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

 

Perhaps the darkest token, however, are the Indian farmers that Singh is occasionally forced to leap. In 2003 alone, more than 17,000 farmers committed suicide in India, swallowing pesticides to avoid the shame of debt and family financial ruin brought on by an agricultural economic crisis...

 

Singh Is King is, therefore, worth a look on two fronts. It's a reasonable way to pass a few errant minutes and gives a peek at how politics are penetrating game culture around the world.
 

4 comments

Online Game Turns Financial Bailout into a Shootout

October 3, 2008 -

Bush's Billions, the latest news-oriented, online game from T-Enterprise parodies the current bailout crisis in the U.S. financial markets.

From the game's description:

US President George W Bush has an imaginary shoot out with the speaker of Congress to get his hands on the $700 billion bail-out cash, in this weeks FAB game.

 

You control "Dubya" hiding behind a patrol car after robbing a bank, and must fire guns at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Bush comments on game progress during play, using real life audio clips of the President.

11 comments

Forbes Surveys Political Sims

September 25, 2008 -

With the presidential campaign in full swing, Chris Morris of Forbes recaps of the current crop of election simulation games.

Here's a brief sample of Chris's thoughts on the games. Hit the link for his full report:

  • President Forever 2008 ...lets you get as detailed as you want to in the campaign. You can determine ad spending, spin news headlines and change campaign themes. Heck, you can even recruit Oprah as a crusader.
  • The Political Machine... You're... able to campaign against other players in online multiplayer matchups.
  • Power Politics III is the grandfather of political games, having put a version out for every election since 1992 (with the exception of 2000, when designer Randy Chase was unable to find a publisher) 

Morris also mentions a pair of games that are just for fun, with no pretense of simulation:

  • Kung Fu Election pits all the candidates... in a series of one-on-one "Mortal Kombat"-style bloodfests.
  • Campaign pits Obama against McCain... in a game that seems like an odd combination of "Risk" and any generic spell-based game.

Stardock Releases Free Version of The Political Machine

September 22, 2008 -

I'll admit to having a man crush on Stardock ever since they issued the PC Gamer's Bill of Rights at PAX last month. Gotta love it when a game publisher thinks about issues like copyright in a rational way and makes a commitment to caring about its customers.

While Stardock is perhaps best known for strategy titles Sins of a Solar Empire and Galactic Civilizations, its presidential campaign sim The Political Machine is a terrific play as well. And now you can download it to sim the 2008 presidential race for free. Stardock announced last week that they are giving away The Political Machine Express for Windows PCs. From the company's press release:

The free strategy game... puts players in the role of the campaign manager of either John McCain or Barack Obama in a quest to win the White House. The game has been updated to feature vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin...

 

Players play on the electoral map of the United States with the goal to gain the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election. Players get 21 weeks (approximately the time candidates have between the primary season and the general election) to make speeches, raise money, buy advertisements, hire political operatives, appear on cable TV shows in order to woo voters to their side.

GP: Although I've played the full version, I haven't tried the free Political Machine Express. The primary difference would appear to be one of scope, however, with Express focused on the actual McCain-Obama fight, whereas the full $19.99 game offers numerous hypothetical scenarios.

The video accompanying this article is the trailer for the full game.

22 comments

Debate Night: Obama's Unofficial Game

September 16, 2008 -

Over at Water Cooler Games, Ian Bogost points us to Debate Night: Obama's Unofficial Game:

Gameplay is derived from Zuma-type games; the player chooses a key issue (represented iconographically) and then uses a match-and-move gesture to swap their positions. Match three or more and they disappear, the equivalent of volleying successfully in the debate.

 

The game both acts as a quality piece of interactive media in support of the campaign and a subtle critique of the process itself, since the issues themselves matter less in the campaign than the way they are repositioned.

Debate Night was designed by Gonzalo Frasca, who collaborated on the Dean for Iowa game during the 2004 Democratic primaries.

Thanks to: GP correspondent Andrew Eisen for the heads-up on Debate Night.

34 comments

Polar Palin: First Sarah Palin Game Has Landed

September 12, 2008 -

On Tuesday GamePolitics took note of the release of a Sarah Palin action figure and wondered how long it would take for a Palin-based game to hit the web.

Answer: Three days.

Today, U.K.-based T-Enterprise has unveiled Polar Palin.

In the game the player controls a dynamite-equipped polar bear who attempts to blow up Palin-driven "campaign tanks" as well as oil rigs.

What's it all about? Here is the explanation given on the game site:

The U.S. recently classified the Alaskan polar bear as a threatened species because of the destruction of its natural habitat. It is predicted that the population of bears could be reduced by two-thirds by the year 2050 due to pollution and global warming.

 

The state of Alaska, led by Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is to sue the U.S. interior secretary to reverse the decision amid fears that it will hinder oil and gas development.

 

27 comments

Gumbeat: Fight Oppression with Bubble Gum

September 9, 2008 -

Singapore's The Straits Times reports on an in-development game in which players use the "cheery pink power of bubblegum" to fight government oppression.

Gumbeat is a Flash game being developed as part of a cooperative effort between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and digital media students in Singapore. So how does Gumbeat play? From the report:

...the heroine chews on candy and blows them into big pink bubbles beside unhappy citizens in the unnamed country in which the candy is banned. This cheers them up enough to entice them to join the protagonist in a revolution, mustering enough angry citizenry to overthrow the oppressive government.

 

This is the aim of the game, said National University of Singapore undergraduate Sharon Chu, who presented her team's game to reporters earlier on Tuesday... The game was made to show that games with serious-themes like say, 'political oppression', can be fun, said Ms Chu.

Chu left the issue of whether the repressive country in question was Singapore up to the "player's interpretation." GamePolitics readers may recall that Singapore's government banned Mass Effect for a time last year over a brief lesbian love scene.

7 comments

Berlin Wall Map Offered for Garry's Mod (Half-Life 2)

September 3, 2008 -

The real Berlin Wall came down in 1989, but Half-Life 2 owners can check out a virtual recreation thanks to an awesome-looking Berlin Wall map which has been posted on the Garry's Mod site.

An explanation accompanies the download:

The anticipated BerlinWall map has been released. The map offers singleplayer experience from the view of an East German citizen, dreaming of living in the West Germany. The gameplay in the map is non-linear, you can take many paths to west. Also, avoid making mistakes, they can be deadly, and remember to check everywhere for some sort of weapons.

The map works the best in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, but like common Source-based maps, it also works in Garry's Mod. Not offering the best gameplay experience in it, but works great for posing and comics.

GamePolitics reader Michael Jürges tipped us to the map. He writes in an e-mail to GP:

Although I haven't had the opportunity to play the map yet, the mapping seems, judging from the screenshots, pretty accurate (I'm German myself and I've been to this part of Berlin as well). Personally, I think this might be quite a good idea - reenacting historical settings and immerge oneself into this virtual environment can, perhaps, contribute to a better understanding about what the people who had to endure these challenges in order to escape from the East German regime felt like.

GP: This is something I'd love to check out, so I guess it's time to re-install HL2.

15 comments

Players Face Real-World Issues in Global Conflicts: Latin America

September 2, 2008 -

Later this month, Copenhagen-based Serious Games Interactive will release Global Conflicts: Latin America.

The game, intended for students 13-19 years old, will be published in seven languages and is designed to teach students about political and human rights struggles in Latin America. From an SGI press release:

Many Latin American countries have dark histories of genocide, widespread corruption; and systematic exploitation of the indigenous population. The game lets you explore how these historical realities still cast long shadows on the everyday life of people in the region today.

In the game, students are challenged to assume the role of investigative reporters:

You arrive in Mexico at the US border with a bag full of journalistic ambitions. Latin America is one of the most turbulent, violent and poverty-stricken places on the planet. Yet it is only when Western interests in the region are threatened that we hear anything about the nations that struggle with paramilitary rule, extreme poverty and exploitation of the population.

 

In a region where politicians and police are feared rather than respected, people try desperately to grab a piece of the land and call it their own. All too often, however, it ends badly. Can you make a difference by writing investigative stories?

Global Conflicts: Latin America will be released for PC and Mac.

39 comments

Game Lampoons UK Prime Minister Over His Food Wasting Concerns

July 20, 2008 -

Earlier this month British Prime Minister Gordon Brown spotlighted the topic of food waste in the U.K., which he said costs the average household about £8 ($16). Brown's comments, which included criticisms of "buy one, get one free" promotions run by supermarkets, sparked some derision in the UK.

Via the Wasted Food blog, we've learned of an online parody game, Gordon Brown and the Kingdom of the Wasters:

You get to control the British Prime Minister as he tries to recover good food like bananas and cupcakes while avoiding rotten items like fish bones.

 

Apparently, dastardly opposition leader David Cameron is the one throwing away the good food. The goal is to catch Cameron and stop him from giving another press conference. Zelda, it’s not.

 

8 comments

Reviewers Go Negative on Hail to the Chimp

June 30, 2008 -

Although Texas-based Gamecock ran a high profile marketing blitz for its politically-tinged Hail to the Chimp, reviewers have voted and the game did not do well.

Variety issued a particularly stinging beatdown:

At first blush, "Hail to the Chimp" looks like a promising mix of edgy political humor with multiplayer party gaming mayhem. But the resulting mashup is a chaotic jumble that's doesn't play well and only loosely is tied to politics at all... "Hail to the Chimp" has about as much of a chance of success as a Dennis Kucinich presidential campaign.

Game Informer slapped Hail To the Chimp with a 4/10, Electronic Gaming Monthly 75/100 and GamePro 3/5.

To be fair, 1UP gave HTC a B+, while UGO awarded it an A-

 

8 comments

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.

20 comments

 
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MaskedPixelanteI can't believe Kenji Yamamoto got another job. Then again, his job on Smash was "musical arrangment", so copying other people's work is right up his alley.12/26/2014 - 9:31pm
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MaskedPixelanteOK, is GP having trouble loading for anyone but me?12/25/2014 - 9:21pm
Matthew Wilsonits a bunch of script kiddies. ddosing is one of the easiest thing to do,and most companies can not stop it sadly.12/25/2014 - 5:05pm
MaskedPixelanteI like Nintendo as much as the next person, they're pretty much the only company putting out the games I want to play, but that was pretty embarassing to have NNID go down due to overuse.12/25/2014 - 4:35pm
MaskedPixelanteSee? It's NOT a repeat of last year's fiasco.12/25/2014 - 4:22pm
PHX CorpLizard squad is responsible for The XBL/PSN shutdown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSpZvsoWvig12/25/2014 - 4:17pm
IanCOh shut up bitching about Nintendo. At least they advised people to downloading updates before the big day. Sony/MS? Not a peep.12/25/2014 - 3:50pm
MaskedPixelanteBoth PSN and Xbox Live are down. Since I'm sure Sony and Microsoft have better online support than Nintendo did last year, this isn't from "everyone logging onto their new devices all at once".12/25/2014 - 3:48pm
prh99John Romero's Christmas present, a custom Icon of Sin sculpture. http://www.pcgamer.com/john-romero-gets-the-icon-of-sin-for-christmas/12/25/2014 - 3:37am
Matthew Wilsonthe interview will be on youtube/xb1/ andriod today.12/24/2014 - 1:05pm
james_fudge1900's?12/24/2014 - 12:56pm
james_fudgeYeah we could go way way back :)12/24/2014 - 12:56pm
E. Zachary KnightCopyright law in general has been broken since at least 1976. Could be even earlier than that.12/24/2014 - 12:24pm
james_fudgeWhat he said :) They want to make it worse than it already is.12/24/2014 - 12:14pm
 

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