I just finished reading Nicholas Lemann's article "Conflict of Interest" in the latest New Yorker. It crystallized a lot of the thinking I've done in the past few years about politics, all the way back to when I was an organizer for Democracy for America here in Hudson County.
I couldn't call my participation in the DFA effort as anything more than a failure, but it taught me a lot about the push and pull of real politics. As it turns out, I don't have a taste for that kind of work--I think I'm temperamentally unsuited for it. But it did drop the scales from my eyes. I stopping seeing the act of governing as a battle between good and evil, and, rather, saw it as the net result of conflicting and cooperating interests.
The Lemann article sums it up well, and I'd encourage anyone with an interest in the subject (or the engine) to read it. For me, it helped to gel a number of key components that ought to factor into games like this:
That's what I have for now. More questions than answers at this point, but it makes sense for me to start taking apart some of the work from this spring's "iPod Game" and working out a mechanic for that kind system and logical interface.
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