October 2008 Archives
A few weeks ago, Adam and I gave Democracy 2 a spin.
In Democracy 2, you play as a newly elected president who analyzes data, sets policies, manages a Cabinet, and responds to crises. There are a number of different scenarios (nations) to choose from. Most of them are fake names based on real configurations, although there is one explicitly real-named scenario (the United States).
The game is certainly fun. For our purposes, Democracy 2 is especially relevant because it acts as a kind of commentary on current issues. Admittedly, the game does not claim to be journalistic. Nonetheless, it does suggest a number of interesting challenges and solutions regarding the intersection of simulation and news.
One way we can consider infovis to be game-like is by exploring the notion of directed activity. Directed activity in games and in information visualizations influences the ways users navigate through the game or information space and it can occur implicitly or explicitly. In both games and information visualizations directed activity operates to guide the user to certain goals.