SPIR608 Political Simulation and Gaming/2013/Week 4

Monday 4th February



Week 4 Discussion of Drakes, Jarvis, Walsh, and Gluck, Election.

Is the design of the game's mechanics (board, pieces, cards, etc.) fit for purpose? edit

- Well made, simple and intuitive game pieces make the game function well

- Large amounts of information are displayed on the board, meaning minimum time consulting rules

Is the game enjoyable and sociable to play? edit

- General consensus that the game is enjoyable to play and was engaging through out

- No wasted turns as in other games, absence of luck makes for strategic play

- The nature of the game facilitated "games within the game" whereby players were competing against each other for vote rich strategic areas

What techniques does the game use to model its chosen subject? edit

- The game is comparable to noughts on crosses on steroids - an advanced model of area denial, attempting to stop other players gaining valuable areas as the core technique

- The game utilizes resource management techniques, forcing the player to ration the limited number of voters and corresponding spaces to play them. This emulates the reality of the FPTP electoral system and party safe seats and natural voter affiliations.

- Bluff tiles and electoral cards model the cut and thrust of political campaigning.

How does the game combine abstraction and realism in its workings? edit


- The game represents in many aspects how sitting in a party HQ would look with elements of resource management, targeting areas of natural support, as well as modelling an actually existing democratic system (Britain in the 1970's).


- Presumption of equal strength and voter appeal across all parties

- The game departs from the FPTP the post system by assigning points to parties that didn't actually win, thus emulating a more EU election and PR style model of democracy.

- Lacks political context: parties are interchangeable and don't stand for manifestos or ideologies. It also ignores the reality of an incumbent party.

What political lessons can people learn by playing the game? edit

- Resource management and the pursuit of natural voter affiliations

- Successful bluff and deception

- A greater knowledge of the workings of the political system

How would you improve the structure and mechanics of the game? edit

- More variety in electoral cards other than simply removing voters from the board, which draws out the end game

- Parties could have manifestos and campaign on certain issues for bonuses

- May have been better in a different setting, for example the German system

- Needs modernising to reflect the realities of Britain today

- End game could be speeded up by a faster counting system (e.g. electronic)

- Hard to see how you're actually doing in terms of Parliamentary seats

Links edit