FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, January 03, 2005

Gaming as a Political Tool

Don't think that, because it's 2005, you're going to get a respite from politics. Observers are quite busy examining the latest tech factor in the political arena: online games. In simulations, players can manage a candidate's campaign, create spin for the media, propose solutions to national issues -- and, of course, attack the other guy. It may be as close as many folks will care to get to the real thing.

Political scientists are intrigued by these games' potential, believing that someday they could be used to model actual campaigns, policies and positions. Forward-thinking politicians might also be able to harness multiuser games to capture input from their constituents. Political gaming is also a global phenomenon, meaning that games could be used to create solutions to world problems as well as national and local ones. However, those who study games for this purpose caution that putting games to work in this manner may be decades away.

Sources: BBC, Ludology.org