Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering Game Review (prepublished version)

Ancient Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero, said “Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.” He died, by the way, for political reasons, so we can properly assume he knew what he was talking about. In this game, physical death by sword is not a possibility, but a political death is only a vote away. Continue reading

Cursed Court Game Review

Retired United States Army general, Stanley A. McChrystal, said, “Anyone in a position of power is either corrupt or assumed to be corrupt, and the assumption of corruption is as bad as the reality of it.” Power can be held by one individual but wielded by another through deceit. After all, the corrupt can be easy to persuade if given the right leverage. Welcome to court, a den of backstabbing vipers. You’ll fit right in. Continue reading

Commies! Game Review (prepublished version)

American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat, Walter Annenberg, said “The greatest power is not money power, but political power.” In this game, power is given to you, but you must share it. This will not do. With the help of others, you might be able to take it all, but you are not the only one with big ambitions. You must work with others to obtain your goals, while at the same time helping others obtain theirs, to a point… Continue reading

Election: Road to the White House Game Review

American syndicated columnist, pundit, author and radio commentator, Cal Thomas, said “One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.” Many share this point of view, but there are still many more who consider politics and politicians vitals gears in the democratic machine, for better or worse. In this game, players pit politicians from different time periods to debate universal concerns. Continue reading

Noble Treachery: The Last Alliance Game Review

Chinese Communist revolutionary and founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, said “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” In this game, the King has died without naming an heir. The war of succession is now fought openly among the noble houses, using both diplomacy and the sword. Continue reading

Green Deal Game Review

American political satirist, Stephen Colbert, said “Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It’s certainty.” This strongly suggests that obtainable and measurable factual information can be trumped by a well constructed PR campaign. Which, sadly, we know to be true. In this game, how your company is perceived by the world is very important to you and your stockholders as you attempt to cut costs, reduce overhead, neglect to follow some laws, and do all you can (within reason) to be profitable. Continue reading

Democracy: Majority Rules Game Review

Aristotle said, “Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.” Change often causes conflict and more times than not is fueled by the unrest of the populace. It’s the politician’s job to listen to their constituents and champion them, passing laws intended to better their lives. In theory. Most of the time, it’s about jockeying for political position, making deals, granting favors, and getting your way. In this game, power may come from the people, but it’s you who will wield it. Continue reading

Kill the Overlord Game Review

Milton Friedman once said, “Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.” This game epitomizes Mr. Friedman’s sentiment. One player is the Overlord, an individual with absolute power, and they have but one goal: take out the trash. In this case, the “trash” if everyone in their court, from the lowliest servant to the most seemingly loyal patron. The only way to survive the mass execution is to ensure someone else gets “the chop” before you. Politics can be a deadly business. Continue reading

Forged in Steel Game Review (prepublished version)

When you arrived at Pueblo County, Colorado, there wasn’t much to look at. A few buildings, a budding factory, and a lot of space. But you saw its potential and the vast fortune that could be made. This town, you decided, was going to be your family legacy. From that day forward you worked to build an empire. Your children have done the same and their children will continue your legacy. History will look back and determine if you were a person of vision or just another dreamer. Continue reading

Eternal Dynasty Game Review (prepublished version)

To obtain power, one must have influence. To keep power, one must fight for it. From one generation to the next, that which was gained in the past is coveted in the present. The next generation will squabble over the legacy of their parents and power will forever shift. Your clan has great ambition, but power is not easily kept. Continue reading

Alliances Game Review (prepublished version)

John Kenneth Galbraith, an economist, public official, diplomat, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism, said, “Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” If that is the case, then the world political stage is a smorgasbord of rotten and slightly tolerable results. The same cannot be said about this game of political intrigue, power, and persuasion where players attempt to conquer and control one country at a time. Continue reading

Swing States 2012 Game Review

You have been hired to claim the White House. At your disposal are all the resources you will need, but not unlimited. You have one year to “sell” your nominee to the people of the United States and win them over. There are 25 states in five different regions that are up for grabs and have just become your battlefield. Fight to win and then to keep them as the opposition and the media work against you. Of course, every good political strategist knows that timing is everything, and a scandal or two could always be beneficial in the long run. Just remember that there is no second place and the stakes couldn’t be higher! Continue reading