Game Changing

by Handsome Matt

Video games are this generations epics.

Video games are medium of communication in the same way movies, books, television, and radio are. A well crafted video game can communicate ideas and principles in a manner lacking in television or movies; the listener becomes the participant.

Last year , I stumbled onto a jewel of a flash game. And I recently rediscovered it. The game is titled Oiligarchy, and in it you play the chairman of an oil company in all its glory and power. You start soon after WWII with the goal of maximizing the worlds dependency on oil.  And all the political, economic, and social intrigue you can handle comes with it.

I love this game. It’s comical to play as the bad guys and see what the outcomes of your actions are. The mindsets and biases of the oil industry are built in to your decisions, and winning the game requires implementing an interesting twist. Losing of course, means that the environmentalists are able to implement sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources.

While the game is enjoyable, for myself it highlighted the difficulty facing the sustainable movement. And the almost ultimate futility of fighting the system, because of how entrenched it is. What is truly interesting, perhaps more saddening than anything, is that the government becomes a tool of the industry.

This bothers me on a personal level, my belief is that government is the one playing field where money and power shouldn’t matter. A government should be designed to protect its citizens against the machinations of powerful corporations, individuals, entities, etc. If the government becomes corrupt, then the average citizen has no protection from forces beyond his or her scope, influence, or control.

Our forefathers formed the United States of America in order to defend against tyranny and oppression; one needs only read the Declaration of Independence to see that. Yet we have allowed corporations and individuals to high jack and usurp our government so that they might engage in a form of modern tyranny and oppression.

Who among the everyman, is able to meet with their representative? Call a senator, or even receive an actual written response to a letter? Yet we see chairmen, CEOs, lobbyists all schedule meetings with ease.

Are their votes or opinions more important than those of other citizens? The answer in theory is no, but in reality yes. They represent small demographics of our society, and by their nature in a democracy or republic, they should have less power, less of a voice, because they have less votes in elections.

We must beware of this dangerous trend. It doesn’t threaten the environment, or a certain groups rights, but rather it threatens the very principles that our nation was founded on.

Click here to go to the game, and please leave your thoughts and opinions.