Ah, Humble Bundles: my greatest weakness. This time, the choose-your-price-for-charity website offered a bunch of tycoon games, including Democracy 3, a government simulator. Given the high levels of politically-themed salt in the water, it seemed like the perfect time to learn what would happen if I tried to be the Best Leader Ever™.
So I took a careful look at the issues and made my best attempt to help both parties meet halfway. My America would both respect the social rights and financial rights of all citizens! My conservative parents and my liberal friends would be proud! It would be a miracle for the history books! Centralists would finally win the day!
Or maybe I’d just die.
After two rounds of doing my best, even managing to virtually eradicate crime, and then being assassinated both times – each time by a terror group on the polar opposite of the political spectrum than the other – I decided “You know what, little virtual citizens? This is why you can’t have nice things. If you don’t appreciate my government, then you shall have the anarchy you crave deep down in your hearts while I hide from any and all attempts to kill me in the White House’s basement with a stack of books and all those snacks the foreign diplomats gave me.”
And so, on my third playthrough, I turned off assassinations… and everything else that I possibly could. Anything law couldn’t turn off was turned down as much as possible, and the cops barely existed anyway if people did somehow manage to do one of the handful of mildly illegal things. Oh, and of course nobody would be taxed either.
I cackled maniacally and pressed “next” reminding myself that my little virtual citizens had asked for this.
It went about as well as you’d expect.
On top of this, pretty much the entire country became alcoholics in the span of a year in an attempt to forget the situation they’d hoisted upon themselves. A celebrity endorsed my near-total anarchy for a bit, garnering me some love from the teenagers of the nation.
Most teens can’t vote, though, and soon the next election rolled around.
I received zero votes. Not only did absolutely nobody vote to maintain their “liberties” but almost everyone voted. And so, despite my complete incompetence as a ruler, I did manage to do one thing that I hope will be remembered in them little virtual history textbooks. It was I, our nation’s first female president, who brought people of all parties together and struck down political apathy… because I was that terrible.
When you started this, you were probably expecting some sort of commentary about current political events in relation to this game instead of just me goofing around. If you want to see how Democracy 3 calculates our next administration – or one of the administrations that tried to be next – working out, there’s no shortage of nicely done pieces on Reddit and Youtube about it.
All I will say on the matter is this: If there’s one thing we can all agree on in the current political climate, it’s that we’re all very thankful I’m not a Political Science major.