Democracy is an administration/government simulation game that was first created in 2005. The player plays as if they are the president or PM of a popularity based government. The player must present and change policies in a variety of areas – tax, economy, welfare, international strategy, transport, law and public services. Every approach affects different voter groups. The player needs to manage rising problems, for example, petroleum challenges or homelessness. I can consider this game as one of my favorites as it is all political which is my main area of interest. Playing this game was fun and exciting. As I play as the president of a country, I could see how complex and wide all the areas a president have to deal with, knowing that these real life fields are way more than those in the game. Moreover, as I start taking decisions, I could never expect how far my decision can make, affecting, what I thought, a very unrelated group. For instance, I started putting the government money towards renewable energy sources and focused on making the air as clear as I can for the city. However, finding protests from the coal and electricity-by-fuel companies that the procedures the government have applied on them to clean their waste is expensive and not efficient and with these companies picketing, I got a higher unemployment rate and electricity outage in the whole country. The game also offers difficulty levels and as you go higher, it is more challenging and exciting to see how unexpected problems can grow. Once I got bombarded with protests from the LGBT community asking to legalize the same-sex marriage; however, christian conservatives were threatening to cut donations and investments if these laws come to action. It is a very branched, complex game and gives a good understanding of how presidents suffer but, frankly, nothing pushed me to be like Trump – maybe he would lose if he plays. I would like to see this game expand beyond the USA, UK, and Canada to some of the middle eastern countries to see how challenging it is to rule a third world country.
2- Defying Gender Roles:
I like the idea of the game as I genuinely believe that women in our society suffer a lot, and it is a good thing to put myself in their shoes even in a game. I liked that the game starts as I am still a baby born child passing until I graduated and reached 50 years old. As a male student, I never faced a teacher telling me to change my mind about my dream job because it will not “fit” my skills and it is sad to see girls getting discouraged from their very first years from either their teachers or even their families. It is also hard for me to imagine how a person for just her gender has to pass by all of these challenges that an ordinary man wouldn’t even bother thinking of. This is another thing I liked in the game that most of the situations, the player went through, were the ones only a female would face. However, I didn’t like the very wide timespan of the game. This 50 years timespan game made me feel that a single decision would define the upcoming 10 years. For instance when I graduated, they asked me to focus on my career or to get married now, and when I chose my career I immediately turned to an unmarried 50 years old woman! I believe that choosing a narrower timespan and focusing all the situations in such timespan would make the game better and more touching for the player.
3- A Home Visit:
It is a very good branching scenario game. The questions and answers available are very well placed in the context and provides a good understanding of the situation. Not to mention, the use of Point Of View filming is amazing in such a story. The use of tone, decor and the actors are extraordinary. They provide a very realistic approach to make the player feel as if he/she is really in the game. As the game starts, I could feel myself dragged into the scenario and concerned about Irine’s mental and physical health, but I was also afraid to say the wrong thing. In the very beginning of the game, when I met Josef (Irine’s boyfriend), I was determined to stand for her and fight him, but I relaxed and thought that might not be the right choice to make, as he is the one providing her with living. In many cases, I would say or do the wrong thing and met by a reaction that shocked me in real life. Irene was living a very hard life and I, myself, couldn’t relate to any of her suffering which led me to say the wrong sentences in most of the situations and she had every right to shout in my face every single time. On the other hand, I would prefer the choices to be more clear. The scenario provides me with one sentence per choice, but this sentence leads to paragraphs of talking which in most cases I didn’t mean it that way. For example, one choice was referred to as “show your concern for Irine”. This choice turned out to be stupid consolation of words like “it will be okay. You will figure this out.” I never intended to say that by this choice but it turned out to be like this. Another thing I would like to change in this game, that if I choose the wrong or slightly wrong thing to say, the game shows me the response and returns me back to the answer. For me, I would like to see how it goes, I want to see Irine wanting to kick me outside of her home or even lose the game but see the consequences of my wrong decisions.
4- Depression Quest:
t is a very heavy game! The choice of words, scenarios, dialogues, expressions of feelings are so on point. The author wraps the player of all the feeling of depression that really surrounds the depressed person. When I first started playing the game, I knew it isn’t made for fun. Indeed, it is an actual representation of how bad depression can get someone, and it offers a good reflection from the inside on how depressed people feel, and therefore, their reactions. I really like this game for two reasons. First, it shows a good reflection on how depression control a person and provides a good awareness on the disorder for people who think that depression is just “a phase”. Second, it offers a warm “me too” for the depressed people to know that it is okay for them to feel the way they are. The choice of words and representation of the site (the black, grey, and blurred pictures) are adequate to represent how a depressed person feels about life and made me really get the sense of how depression feels. However, as I get deeper and deeper into the scenario, the choices began to fade as if the author wants me to stay depressed forever. I understand that being depressed is not a piece of cake and is not easy to recover from, but baby steps were always an option. The options of going to a doctor, talking a friend, or just going for a walk were not even an available option in the game. I have been depressed myself for a long time, and I couldn’t get out of it except with doctor appointments and medication, but it has never been as hopeless as described in the story, and that’s why I can say that I can’t see the story as 100% realistic.