Democracy is the title of a new political strategy game by Positech Games
Democracy starts with you as President (or Prime-Minister) of a modern country. The country is a run as a simple democracy where you need to get over 50% of the vote each election in order to remain in power. The object of the game is to stay in power as long as possible (there are no limits as to how many terms you may be elected president).
"Games such as democracy are an important step forward in the evolution of education" - Kristofer Poland, Instructor of Political Science, Ohio University
Democracy is a detailed simulation game that is 'turn based' where each turn of the game represents 3 months of time. Elections are held every 4 years. The game has a complex internal model to represent the population of your country. A large number of different 'voter groups' are modeled, such as Motorists, Trade-Unionists, Unemployed people, Wealthy people etc. The simulation allows people to be in several groups at once, so for example, an unemployed poor motorist will be influenced by the opinions of all 3 groups when it comes to election day.
The player influences the voters and the country by putting in place policies. Policies are things like "Free Health Care" and can be modified using sliders to decide how much money (and effort) is put into each policy. Different voting groups will have very different (often conflicting) views as to which policies are desirable.
The game also has a number of 'events' which affect your country, such as labour disputes, political protests, diplomatic incidents etc. And there are also 'dilemmas' which force you (as elected head of state) to make a tough decision. Dilemmas might also include proposed laws, which interest groups are lobbying for. Who you side with will influence who supports you at the next election.
"I highly recommend this title for strategy and number fans of all types, and those who would like a great political simulation" - Walter Hare cosmosgaming.com
The simulation behind the game also models a large number of variables which determine the condition of your country. Your policies might be popular at first, but they might lead to a fall in productivity, increased commuter journey times, increased air pollution... All these variables come back to haunt you, and to stay in power over several terms you will have to think far ahead.
The data that powers the game is in simple text files (csv files) that can be edited and changed in any spreadsheet or text program, so budding economists and social scientists can tinker with the simulation as much as they like.