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02/16/2005

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Leo Strauss

Exploring how ideologies transform the current political climate is a powerful idea. Interesting choice by Gonzalo that he chose a simulation rather than game.

Fascism is a word tossed around casually, but not necessarily inaccurate. But it will not look like newsreel footage of the 1930s. It will actually seem part of the normal course, lurking behind familiar institutions and facades and likely be understood by say a gamer as nationalism.

I would argue that the Sim City approach would in fact not be satisfactory. Ideology such as fascism is how ideas -- memes -- are used to transform a nation's consciousness.

Instead, a simulation based on viral infection and transmition -- in this case memes -- with the host being political and media institutions -- would probably be more accurate and understandable to the player of the simulation. This would explain how for example how the ideology of the neocons and the Evangelicals were able to hijack the Republican Party and American politics -- and transform radically what we understand to be "conservative."

Warren Spector probably would be an ideal person to produce an actual game exploring these themes -- and his much maligned Deux Ex 2 did present some of these choices to the player. A game exploring how facism and ideological memes transform a society would allow the player to experience it. Think KOTOR or Fable but with a real message about today(that does not need to hit the player on the head in obvious tediousness).

My guess is that a game approach would probably be a better choice than simulation. Allowing the player to make choices and consequences of the viral ideology and experience them.

kuwang

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