Sunday, October 10, 2004


I have long thought that games are good public relations and relationship-building devices when they are well constructed and teach players about issues. Sim City, for example, is a game where one has to constantly watch interactions in growing a city -- the utilities the city needs, roads and traffic, railroads, maintenance, taxation, the opinion of the populace, trade promotion and a host of other factors including where the city is built and how it is laid out. Politicos have played the game to understand better the jobs they have to do.

Now the Republicans in Illinois are getting into PR games and in an enticing way. Look at this site. You can play games around four issues -- medical malpractice reform, education, participation and economic development. Each game has interactions. Change one component and you influence a related component. It comes down to choices you make just like the legislator does in the face of high demand and low funding. I can't think of a better way to show citizens the responsibilities and challenges of being a legislator. We need more games like it.

For example, why can't there be a game that shows choices one makes in protecting the environment. You can protect this land over here but when you do, you take away the rights of that group over there. That's OK but when you do that, they become a political block and make your life more difficult in the future. Every action has a reaction -- some direct and some serendipitous.

I would love to have an opportunity to work on at least one PR game in my career.


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