Finally, Proof That You’d Be a Fantastic Benevolent Dictator

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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

10 science photos that made history and changed minds

These photos of scientific heroes and accomplishments inspire awe and curiosity.

Surprising Science
  • Science has given humanity an incalculable boost over the recent centuries, changing our lives in ways both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  • Fortunately, photography, a scientific feat in and of itself, has recorded some of the most important events, people and discoveries in science, allowing us unprecedented insight and expanding our view of the world.
  • Here are some of the most important scientific photos of history:
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less