Building better government through social gaming
If every American devoted as much time to solving government problems as they did to playing games on social networks, our country would probably be in a lot better shape. But how do you make good government as interesting as a good game of Farmville? Simple: You make social games that are about good government.
That's the idea behind a couple of game concepts that came out of research company Manor Labs, as outlined in a recent post on GovFresh. The first concept, CityVille, would build on social city-building games like Booyah's My Town by adding governmental management concepts like tax rates and costs for restoring crumbling infrastructure (Hmmm... didn't the SimCity series do that two decades ago?). Or how about a FourSquare style iPhone check-in game that asks people to visit their local civic buildings like libraries and fire stations. That could be... fun... maybe... eh?
Okay, these ideas are a little light on actual potential government-changing impact, but they got us thinking about the promise of using social games for something more than just frittering away time. How about a virtual legislature where you and your friends band together to compromise on simulated laws? Or a game where you rebuild the country using your own customized founding father avatars? The possibilities are endless!
What kind of good government ideas would you like to see in your social games?