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Trump Card: The Political Machine 2016 Released

When we sent Marsh in to prematurely evaluate Stardock’s election sim The Political Machine 2016 [official site], Donald J. Trump won the presidency in a landslide victory. It’s purely a coincidence that Marsh is no longer our Premature Evaluator, that our new chap is someone who knows better than to tempt fate.

Three months later, with the presidential race picking up, The Political Machine has left Early Access and properly launched. I’m interested by how its model has changed issues since that first release to reflect developments.

For example, check these adjustments listed in the changelog from a December update:

  • Updated issue importances to reflect current events. For example, recent events in Chicago have increased the importance of #BlackLivesMatter in Illinois. ISIS, Migrants, and Securing the Border (immigration) are also likewise more important as national issues.
  • Increased Trump’s “Media Bias” score a bit to reflect that fact that his supports are energized by negative media attention.

The game’s a crude simulation of the 220 million people eligible to vote, sure, but I’m often interested to see what a simulation’s makers think is going on and is important to reflect. It’s like how the methods and results of polls can be fun to pick apart. I really enjoyed this comment from a campaigner telling us what they believed was wrong with the game’s simulation. I mean, I know TPM is a game, not a serious sim, but still!

The Political Machine, I should explain, is a sim about trying to win this year’s US presidential election, either as one of the actual candidates or someone of your own creation. You campaign, plan strategy, take stances, run ads, and all that malarkey. It’s £5.24 on Steam, with a discount for folks who own earlier Political Machines.

Here’s a cracker of a change from the launch update:

  • Removed Donald Trump’s baldspot.

He doesn’t have a baldspot, okay. And his fingers are not short either.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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