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Current Political Scenario Inspire Game Developers
Vandana Subramanian
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The Anti Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare is fast gaining support not only from the masses — India and abroad but from technology and social media tools as well. Programmers at Krazy Koder, a free online lab for programmers, have come up with an online game which can help Anna collect the Lokpal Bill virtually. The game works only on Firefox and Chrome browsers.

Cashing in on the anti-corruption momentum, the social gaming network has come up with a game that gives a player a chance to control corruption by making him the Prime Minister. Hazare is shown sitting in with placards like "Brashtachar ko khatam karo" (Eradicate corruption) in the backdrop. The game which was launched on April 1 and incorporated a section on Hazare on April 5, has since then seen the number of users jump from 50,000 to 3.5 lakh.

In a similar case, less than a week after Osama Bin Laden was killed, Kuma Games released a free, downloadable game, which allowed players to re-create the raid on the terrorist's Pakistan compound, and slay him.

There are sites which provide numerous of free games based on the political scenario, ranging from the U.S. debt, communist revolution to political duels and the race for the Whitehouse. Gone are the days when people used to support or criticize political leaders through discussion forums or through press. The increasing number of platforms which are evolving to allow people raise their voice is astonishing.

If you browse through titles and descriptions of the 'simulation' games at any software store, you might think that you were looking at the syllabus of a sociology lecture. This is a strange state of affairs, because politics lends itself naturally to the idiom and the audience of today's games. Political campaigns are already structured like games with an escalating series of direct competitions that determine the eventual winner.

Also, there are readily available data, going back many decades, which can be harnessed to craft the simulation. A number of best-selling sport simulations could be easily translated into the world of politics. The latest version of Sega's World Series Baseball 2K3, for example provides the player with an entire organization to manage. They can trade players, nurture minor leagues, negotiate salaries, and more in a game that prides itself on verisimilitude, the whole system seems out of place, and the player is trying to overturn a brutal dictator. Earlier people could witness the impact of computer and video games in politics, television, popular music, and Hollywood, now it seems the games are being inspired by the real-world situations.

Only time will tell whether Anna Hazare is able to make the government agree to his conditions or not. For the meanwhile, the game is gaining popularity, with developers trying to bring different aspects by cashing on the political situations and trying their best to develop a game on any controversial situation.

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