Democracy 2 Beta Test II
(first version of the game)
Second Game: Commented game report
Weâ€™ll, Iâ€™m back for another game of Democracy 2. My goal here is to tell (shortly) about my second try at ruling the land of Malaganga. Just to give an impression of the rhythm of the game and provide a background for some of the ideas that Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll get while playing.
The first thing I notice is that the game shows all the hints again. Maybe this should be made optional â€“ or maybe the game just didnâ€™t register that Iâ€™ve played before because it crashed when I tried to quit.
For some reason the music reminds of Caesar IIIâ€¦ Iâ€™m not sure if thatâ€™s a good thing.
Malaganga (silly name, even for someone like me who speaks a little Spanish): â€˜A debt-ridden state where voting is compulsoryâ€™ â€“ but Compulsory Voting doesnâ€™t seem to be a policy, so I guess itâ€™s hard-coded into this country. But it would be a great policy: makes conservatives happy, but annoys liberals (I guess?). I choose the Justice Party (will be wonderfully ironical when I arm the police) and continue to the actual game.
I start by cutting down on military expenses. To win back the conservatives (and gain popularity with the wealthy) I encourage Gated Communities, which seems to be a good trade-off considering the relatively low negative effect and the fact that this policy doesnâ€™t cost anything at all. I then increase Police and Community Policing expenses to reduce by law and order problems. Binge Drinking is now under control, but the message about it in the quarterly report seems rather alarming at first (maybe it should say something like: â€˜Problem Solved: Binge Drinkingâ€™). The UN now asks me to sign a treaty banning nuclear tests, but I wasnâ€™t even aware that I was testing such weapons â€“ maybe it should be a policy? Strangely, Inner City Riots are not affected at all by the size of my Police Force, so I guess Iâ€™ll have to arm them.
Having done that, law and order was quickly restored. I then turned to the problems of disease and poverty, using a newly created 10 billion surplus to maximize spending on health services and schools. I replace a minister, suffer the consequences of a legal scandal (should probably have jury trials) and say no to a minimum wage law (shouldnâ€™t that be a policy?). Jury Trial is a strange policyâ€¦ it gives only positive effect and costs the same no matter what I do with the slider. Legal Aid is also rather cheap and exclusively good. Trying to bribe the liberals, I legalised prostitution which was even weirder. Most of the effects are locked, but by making it â€˜higherâ€™ (whatever that means) I decreased direct income but increased GDP. I understand nothing. Suddenly I realise that Iâ€™ve spent more than I thought and that government income has decreased drastically. I try to make it right again, but itâ€™s too late â€“ the election is here. I make some utopian promises. I know the manifesto is optional, but a more moderate version of it would be nice. Mid-election I earn the Crime Free Utopia award. Creating a utopia is obviously easier with armed police. I almost won this time, getting what looks like 40% of the vote (though it canâ€™t clearly be seen on the election screen). Well, maybe next time â€“ or maybe now? Using â€˜escapeâ€™ I was able to return to the game for another four years of government, only to be kicked out next turn because of my massive debt. But I guess I wasnâ€™t supposed to be able to continue anyway.
I went back to test it, choosing to have an election every year. I used the â€˜escapeâ€™ trick three times and it continued working. Another thing worth considering is adjusting manifesto promises to the number of years before the next election â€“ reducing poverty by 20% may be possible in ten years, but not in one.
Democracy 2 generally confronts us with most of the problem of a modern government. There are, however, two that are not included:
The first is the problem of population ageing. In virtually every post-industrial nation, the number of retired citizens is increasing drastically while the birth rate is decreasing (even below the 2.1 children per woman that is necessary to maintain a constant number of citizens). The causes and effects are many and complicated, but here is what I could think of:
Causes: Increased life expectancy (caused by improved health and welfare), low birth rate (caused by wealth, contraception and abortion).
Effects: Decreasing population, percentage of citizens that are members of the Retired group increasing (and therefore also a lot of welfare and health costs increasing).
Possible ways of solving the problem: Immigration (having some negative effects), adopting from foreign nations (if your nation has problems with infertility, that is if itâ€™s included in the gameâ€¦ caused by bad health, chemicals used in the industry and bad environment), regulating birth rate (banning contraception and or/abortion, paying people to have more children) and making people retire later (only possible with a healthy population, you have to give people an economic incentive to do so, maybe lower taxes for old people).
The second is obesity. This has already been a problem in the US for decades and the problem is spreading to Europe. Possible causes, effects and policies:
Causes: Cheap and unhealthy food, lack of exercise, desk jobs.
Effects: Lower life expectancy, even lower health, increased health service costs, decreasing productivity.
Policies: diversified VAT on healthy and unhealthy food, increased number of physical education lessons, giving children a healthy meal at school.