Now you can. Virtually, at least. Seems the latest trend in online gaming are simulation games that let you run for a virtual office. You can form committees, fundraise, create ads and get out the vote.
It used to take a spotless record, a special ego, and lots and lots of sycophants around you to run for office. Now you can do it with the click of a button, and enjoy it. And of course we all now know that a spotless record is not necessary for political office. Sometimes it seems that a blemished record is preferred.
As a former campaign manager, I’m not sure how I feel about these. I loved working on campaigns, but now that I’m out of the game, I’m pretty sure I don’t want back in. But it might be fun to run a virtual campaign. I know for sure I’m not paying for one of these games. If I wanted to do something like that, I’d go back to work on a campaign again!
Okay, so for some of the free games.
There is U4prez.com, where you register and create a virtual Presidential campaign. Then there’s SenateSeeker.com, where you create a virtual Senate candidate and campaign.
80soft.com seems to be a popular one–The Washington Post has endorsed its version of the games. And if, like Mr. Know it All, you happen to be British, you can also take a crack at running for Prime Minister of Great Britain. Hmm, considering that an election is imminent in Great Britain, might be a fun one to try. I’d like to see someone come up with a credible candidate for the Tories. Hasn’t been one since John Major. Like The Political Machine, free demo versions are available.
The best appears to be The Political Machine, which in its full version is $20. However, if you visit their download site, they do have a beta version that allows you to run a 12 week version for free. You can create your own candidate, or choose a pre-existing candidate, like Reagan or Clinton, Kerry or Bush and run their campaign for President.
Hmmm, for all of us armchair quarterbacks, this might be a lot of fun! Some more political simulation game sites:
Democracy Game–another game that lets you choose the country you want to run. Also modifiable, with local issues like Travellers in the UK, and so on.
As WOPR in Wargames said, Anyone want to play a game?