Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
That there are so few detailed modern political simulators has always surprised me. It seems like such fertile territory, given internet presence seems to go hand-in-hand with an outspoken political stance. But I suppose it is one thing to loudly object to something and another to bury yourself deeply in putting your beliefs into practice. Importantly, Democracy 3 [official site] isn’t about the sound and fury of getting yourself elected, and instead is concerned with how to keep the ship afloat once you are in power.
Clearly, the first time you play you’ll do so in accord with your own stance, and it’s fascinating/horrifying to encounter very practical as well as political reasons that you can’t simply steamroller on with your idea of utopia. It’s the second play that’s the most revelatory though: attempting to turn the nation into the very opposite of what you want it to be, and how the initial discomfort turns into an absolute determination to make it work. Politics (and power) makes fools of us all.