Monday morning quarterbacks aren’t restricted to sports. The world is full of backseat drivers. And when it comes to how a country is run, there are plenty to choose from. While many a person has speculated how wrathful their very own administration might be, a new game finally gives people the opportunity to find out for sure.
To be fair, there are other ways to test your skills as supreme leader. You can always form your own micro-nation, even institute your very own currency. But Tropico 3, a new game in which players can assume the dictatorship of a quintessential banana republic, gives a unique simulation of how a country can develop. And results could potentially say plenty about the person playing.
Develop an industrialized nation? Establish a tourist hot spot? Rule with an iron fist? The game offers a number of possibilities in a contemporary political vacuum. But absolute power can be a slippery slope. Improperly balance your objectives of power and the people of your fair nation could very well rise up against you. Kalypso, the game’s publisher, challenges players to stay in power for 50 years.
Gamers have had the opportunity to build their own simulated legacy before, from Sim City to Civilization. But those games generally ruled out contemporary political elements. In Tropico, players can even make edicts regarding nuclear proliferation and same-sex marriage. And with a bizarre fascination surrounding the likes of Kim Jong Il and Saddam Hussein, there’s no denying the demand for a game like Tropico.
Tropico 3 also takes place against the backdrop of the Cold War: a character that has been all but forgotten in these types of games. That interesting balance of global hegemony only makes the game a more fascination template for aspiring dictators to work off of. And what better way to build a profile of someone’s character than to see how irresponsibly they govern their banana republic? Your friend mercilessly crushing the spirit of his people? Don’t get on his bad side.