With each of us being little more than a kilogram of meaty slop and a stringy nervous system which would fall vaguely into the shape of a human if slapped out on a table or hung from a doorframe, it's fascinating to see how other people interpret the world and its complexities. So hey, look, here's Democracy 4, the latest in the government simulator series from Positech Games. After 15 months in early access, it's now out in full: a detailed model of how Positech think politics works, for you to try to gain and keep power.
In short, it's a strategy game where you take on the running of a country, running it however you please, and trying to get: 1) re-elected; 2) un-assassinated. Juggle budgets, time, demands, pressures, spin, and such, and try not to stuff it up. Or do try to stuff it up, to see what happens in Positech's understanding of the world.
"If you want to turn your country into Ayn Rand's fantasy, abolish all public spending and all taxes, you can do that," Positech say. "It might work, it might not! Depending on how you handle it. On the other hand if you want to nationalise the railways, the energy companies, the water companies, cap CEO pay, ban second-home ownership and put universal income in place, you can do that too. All the game tries to do is model the *likely* effects, short and long term of any action you take."
This full launch is "not the end of it" for Democracy 4, Positech man Cliff Harris explained in a blog post.
"I am determined to improve the game balance, and have some more ideas of stuff to add," he said. "I am also obsessed with making mod support easier, and Steam Workshop support in this version is dramatically better than before."