11/7 EDIT: I updated the text toward the end of this post, because that will teach me to write about current events. Not my fault the election count took too long, though. The original version will be posted as a screenshot at the end for transparency.
I was originally going to check out the second season of EXTREME MEATPUNKS FOREVER. I checked out its first season and I supported the Kickstarter for this one, so I was excited to check it out. But alas, we’ve reached the part of 2020 that we’ve all been dreading: the American election. So, I decided to tackle something from my backlog instead: Democratic Socialism Simulator.
Democratic Socialism Simulator is a game by Molleindustria, where you play as America’s first socialist president trying to navigate American politics to put forward bold initiatives that will help people. It’s entertaining, it’s educational, and it makes me wish for something better.
If you ever played any of the Reigns games by Nerial, you’ll be a bit familiar with the gameplay. You are given a card with a binary decision and you swap it left or right increase or decrease gauges. Though you won’t get a pre-emptive game over for failing to do so, there’s an overall goal of filling up the “people power” bar and decreasing the emissions bar – the latter of which I find to be much, much harder. Sometimes, certain decisions will have long-term consequences that you’ll only know based on previous knowledge or just common sense.
The similarities stop there however, because this is about a democracy and not a monarchy. At the bottom of the screen, you’re shown voters and how close they lean toward voting for your agendas. Each voter has a different set of values and your decisions will either endear you to them or alienate them based on what values it affects. Choices revolving around decriminalization may make justice-minded voters like you more and give more spending power, but tough on crime people will hate you. Interestingly though, some of the harder right voters may support some left-leaning ideas, like traditional values voters having strong support for labor rights, so if you play your cards right, you may still get a majority of voters on your side when election day comes.
With every decision, you’re brought closer and closer to an election. The number of voters you have supporting you affects the amount of Congress power you’ll get from the election, which will enable you to do certain things. Even though it’s unrealistic since bipartisanship in America is just a one-way road to the right, it might be in your best interest to appeal to the worst of the right wing voters for the sake of power.
The game is dressed up in bright, cheery colors with all the advisors being funny animal people that appropriately represent their ideals. The Civil Rights advisor is a black panther, the environmental advisor is a polar bear, the military advisor is an eagle, etc. Throw it in with a chill hop soundtrack by Jesse Stiles and you have a cutesy, endearing take on American politics.
Obviously, the game shows a strong bias toward the left, especially since the more right-wing advisors act as cariactures. But counterpoint: actual right-wing politicans already are cartoons, so really, it’s dead-on. And before you go “owo of course the journo is a leftist,” let me say: yes, I am, and who cares? Journalists are expected to be neutral and objective no matter how unfeasible that is while cops – the supposed objective arbiters of the law – are not only openly political and right-wing, but journalists are expected to take their words as objective fact. So who fucking cares.
And so, I appreciate Democratic Socialist Simulator as an engaging vision of America, but it makes me sad, because it’s a vision of America that will never be.
America will never let a left-leaning politician even get a chance at presidential power. The supposedly “good” party will do everything in its power to crush any kind of leftward movement. From almost all the candidates coalescing behind Joe Biden to give him a huge endorsement boost to Obama personally shutting down an NBA strike, the “good” guys will shoot themselves in the foot and blame the people they ruined for their failures to captivate anyone.
Joe Biden, easily the most right-wing out of the Democratic nominees, was preached to be the “electable” candidate but he barely won when it really should have been a landslide against a guy that’s directly and indirectly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. And not only do people still inexplicably think of him as a communist, but the liberal takeaway from the election is “we gotta go further right.”
Liberals will insist that moving right is the only way to get votes but this election blew a hole in that argument, as more Republicans support Trump than in the first election. In fact, an area that Democratic Socialism Simulator got right is that some people that lean toward traditional values still holds faith in progressive ideas, as we can see with Florida simultaneously having mass support for a higher minimum wage and for Trump. Well, hope Democrats were happy with all that Lincoln Project help, now that it’s (check notes) going back to being a Republican Party thing. But they will be happy, because they are the easiest marks in the world.
If Biden wins, it won’t be because of his supposed qualities or his appeals to the right, but because of the votes of people desperately overcoming voter suppression and the leftists that they’d blame for not being 100% for him. Every political pundit should be fired because it’s obvious that they’re all dumbasses that don’t know shit, and that’s probably the most generous thing I can say about them.
But they will not learn. The Democratic Party will not learn. For the smug, almost eugenics-esque superiority complex about supposedly being smarter than conservatives, liberals are huge fucking idiots. They’ll wonder why Trump supporters are unquestionably loyal to Trump while desperately holding on to ideas that are easily proven wrong or flawed and getting mad at anyone on the left that has any reasonable criticism. It’ll go on forever and ever, on and on. I can hear a sound, and it’s me becoming the Joker.
But anyway, the game’s pretty good and you should give it a shot.