Now you too can rig elections and jail opponents

Remember Simcity? I’m not sure if this new and more sinister incarnation is a joke or not:

Welcome to Simbabwe, where the property is already owned and the houses built and you compete to burn and dispossess them. Bounce around the map plundering farms, denying grain silos to opposition supporters and robbing the community chest.

Easy to play but hard to escape from, Simbabwe is a richly detailed, evolved board game with unscrupulous AI and editorial cartoon graphics.

Rig elections, gaol opponents and taunt the Commonwealth as you use intimidation and stooges to create a mugaboly on power.

Compete with Robert Mugabe, Canaan Banana, Cecil Rhodes and Sir Godfrey Huggins to earn a place on the all-time EU travel ban list!

As an advocacy tool, this looks better than most humanitarian video games. It’s a hundred times better than Darfur is Dying, which makes my stomach churn. Who thought you could make mass murder cute and pithy?

At the same time, who would tolerate a video game where you play Stalin, Hitler, or Pol Pot, even for ‘educational value’? Mugabe is not yet quite in their league, but you get the idea. Is it okay to play at being brutal dictator when it’s a country we are unconnected to, or know little about? (HT: Michael Clemens)