Taking only one hour in a game before writing about it is a special torture. I don’t have long to make decisions or poke around. I can’t indulge the analysis paralysis that usually gets me. I just have to go.
So here I go.
Democracy 3 puts me in a nation’s driver’s seat. Choose a nation, select policies, manage influence, and make a better world. Let’s see how much trouble I get into.
The game gives me several options for which country to rule with an iron fist, but I take the first. I am going to command the strange, foreign land known as the UK.
I take as much time as I can afford with the tutorial, and maybe five minutes in, I get to institute my choice of new policy. The Space Program it is, then!
After that capricious choice, I notice that, excuse me, Britons, your country is labeled a technological backwater! What have you lot done with yourselves? This cannot stand! Up education! Up science spending!
One year into a four-year term, I find the statistics button. I’ve dropped crime by 23% and violent crime by 19%. Equality is up 10%. That sounds good. But GDP is down almost 10% That’s probably bad.
I have a plan to help the GDP, but it’ll have to wait until I’ve crushed creationism in schools, which I promptly do. I didn’t realize that was a problem over there, I thought it was just in backwards places like Kentucky. You poor bastards.
Heading into year three, my credit rating has been downgraded to CC, but my polls are at 42%.
I admit, money is tight. But my policies are good! If I make it through the election, I promise I’ll jack up income tax and balance the budget. I’ll make the hard choices for our economy. I’ll make a difference.
That’s when the game freezes on me. Having a legislative body lock completely up is a pretty familiar feeling to me over here, so I am unperturbed. I ponder the lack of a CTRL-ALT-DLT option for Congress while rebooting the game. Happily, it autosaved.
A capitalist plot, the Battenburg group, forms to unseat me. That seems malicious.
I legalize pot in an effort to create more tax revenue.
With only one year left, I go all in. My space program is nearing completion, and our debt may be mounting, but an educated, tech-savvy populace is worth it.
With half a year to go, technological advantage replaces technological backwater. I’ve done it! In a frantic effort to curry favor with my enemies, I plummet taxes, but it’s not enough. The popular vote dumps me from office, 38% to 28%.
In four years, I dropped crime by 48%, unemployment by 12%, CO2 emissions by 32%, and traffic congestion by 18%. I’ve raised technology by 21% and equality by 45%. But high salaries dropped by 25% and middle-class salaries dropped by 50%, with the GDP dropping 15%.
Ingrates. I’m going back to the colonies.