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Pretty fun

A topic by ekesleight created Aug 15, 2020 Views: 254 Replies: 5
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Essentially a "President Bernie Sanders" simulator -- there are ideological telltales like the conflation of M4A with universal healthcare, or the behaviors of certain virtual voters that hint at a model that assumes that nativist voters will prioritize "socialist" initiatives over racism (as the Sanders campaign was evidently counting on before voters rejected it) -- but it's nevertheless a cool game that offers up interesting and difficult choices and trade-offs, provides a bit of replayability and foregrounds some interesting ideas. Above all, it's fun.

the behaviors of certain virtual voters that hint at a model that assumes that nativist voters will prioritize "socialist" initiatives over racism

Isn't this random? Plenty of nationalist voters had other secondary priorities for me.

Seemed to manifest as a pretty consistent pattern in about a dozen playthroughs, though granted, it was far from the only secondary preference they had and NatSec was more common. In general, though, I was able to have multiple nativist virtual voters in the front rank of my supporters while doing pretty radically pro-immigrant things provided I did enough pro-worker and pro-socialist things, which doesn't strike me as being how nativism works at all. 

(In general I have questions about nativist voters *allowing* secondary priorities to overrule their nativism in the environment being simulated, but that's a larger question.)

It's not a deal-breaker. Just something that put me on notice about certain ideological things going on. I still had fun.

That might be because some options, like the "hope" inauguration speech and canceling student debt, have universal appeal -- maybe you managed to get them on that? But I dunno, I don't think it's too unreasonable for people to be swayed by policies that directly benefit them even if they disagree with ideology -- on the flipside, look at all the rural voters who said they disagreed with Trump's nativist rhetoric but voted for him anyway in the hopes of restoring the economy.

That "economic anxiety" excuse has never really held up so far as I can see, but I won't get too deep into that.


If you are curious, voters don't prioritize an issue over another. Each voter "cares" about two things in the same way. The voters initial orientation is always the same although the positions are visually shuffled. This is the spreadsheet of the ideological composition: each line is a virtual voter, each x is an issue they care about. You have an anti-immigration voter who is working class, one that also likes welfare state and services, and one who is also obsessed with security (say a more straight-up xenophobic right)