There are plenty of other games of which conservatives should approve as well. Sim City, which preceded The Sims, has players create a virtual metropolis instead of a virtual family. As a Sim City expert, I can tell you that things function much more smoothly if taxes are low and city government caters to corporate interests.I'll leave to one side for now that the SimCity style games ignore Hayekian insights - I've covered that before. But don't we have at least some evidence that cities function more smoothly if taxes and regulatory burdens aren't too onerous?
Those cities also always end up polluted: Wind energy is fine in theory, but old-fashioned petroleum and coal facilities really make them run.
I wonder whether Potts's problem is less with the games and more with the world.
I blame some of my right-of-center leanings on the structures of the games themselves. Having children has the added bonus of extending game time in The Sims, because I get to continue to play the same family as the generations roll by. Maternity leave is mandatory for pregnant Sim women because of a long-standing technical issue within the game, but that replicates a long--standing real-world assumption about which partner should care for newborn children. The result is that my Sim women often leave work permanently because they've taken more time off than their Sim husbands, which actually mirrors the results of gender discrimination in the real world. If the game were set up in a less traditional way, I would likely play it in a less traditional way.I'm not sure that it's rigging the game to have maternity leave of at least some short period be a necessary counterpart to childbirth. Would it be at all realistic to have the game coded to allow female Sims to have the baby in the morning and be back at the office that afternoon?
Then again, she might just not be all that good a gamer:
Civilization was not created by Wright but is similarly rigged. While, historically, there are plenty of Alexander the Greats who amassed power through conquest, there are also countries like Switzerland that became economically powerful by remaining neutral and pacifist. The conventional wisdom, however, is that war games sell--and Civilization is designed to be a war game. I can opt to commit my resources to building trade alliances and public libraries, but I don't have a choice about building an army to defend my cities against barbarian attacks. Once I have an army, I might as well use it to destroy my competitors. Waging war is the only way I've ever won the game. (It seems important to note that pulling off a "cultural" victory is extremely difficult.) The lesson: Getting results from liberal policies takes a tremendously long time. It's also, frankly, much less fun to have a scripted dialogue with Catherine the Great than to watch a samurai fall to a pikeman's ax.I've never won through war and have only won through diplomatic and cultural victories. But I've only pushed that high through the computer player difficulty settings. Maybe things flip to advantage warmongering on the higher levels.