I may have mentioned this before but I am a gamer, was born that way I think, since one of my earliest memories involves me getting up at 4am to play this RPG on a 486 (A really old computer). Anyway I heard about the release of a new game by Stardock Games called the Political Machine 2008 and decided to give it a try. This game puts in you in the role as your candidates campaign manager where you get to decide where your candidate goes and how much he or she spends. I initially wanted to see an Obama/McCain match-up but you are not allowed to do that in campaign mode so I think I need to finish the whole game before I can play against a computer-controlled McCain. Here was my first matchup:
I was initially caught off guard by the complexity of this game as you are required to generate money, give speeches, and manage your opponent’s success. The hardest part of the game was figuring out what strategy to take; in this instance I decided to go for the big states and even tried to turn Texas blue but former President Grant refused to relinquish his hold on the state. With one week to go until the general election, this is what the polling data looked like:
The blue states show my likely wins while the red show former President Grant’s likely wins. Of course Senator Obama won. Here is the victory shot:
I defeated former President Grant decisively however it must be noted that it is going to get even more difficult as the game progresses. I also outspent him by $2 million dollars which begs the question in reality, does Senator Obama’s money edge give him a better chance of winning?
This game is by no means a comprehensive simulation but it gives me an idea of how important a role money can play in a campaign. Getting your message out there is critical and can really help change the minds of voters regarding a candidate. One year ago, I would have said that Senator Obama needed all the money he could get to help spread awareness about who he is and what he stands for howoever awareness is not the issue at the moment. The current issue is the far-left feeling that Senator Obama has betrayed them when he has done what every other political candidate has done before him, move towards the center in order to ensure the greatest appeal to the largest number of voters. The key at the end of the day for us liberals is that we get a Democrat in office, is it not?