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Positive Review of PF+P in Philadelphia Inquirer


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Check out the positive review of PF+P in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Power Up | Political junkies can get in '08 presidential game

By Dennis McCauley

For The Inquirer

Hillary's in the game. So are Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, John McCain, and even Delaware's favorite son, Joe Biden. I'm talking 2008 presidential politics, of course. With real-world campaign fever already heating up, is it any surprise that a new PC game lets players simulate the forthcoming campaign?

President Forever + Primaries casts players in the role of campaign manager for any of the major candidates. The game begins a few months before the New Hampshire primary and runs through the general election in November 2008.

While it's far from an action title, there is no dearth of excitement and competition in President Forever. As I write this, the game, which is frequently updated via the Web, lists seven Democrats (Clinton, Obama, Biden, John Edwards, John Kerry, Tom Vilsack and Wesley Clark) as active candidates. Three more (Al Gore, Evan Bayh and Mark Warner) are inactive, but could be toggled on by players who enjoy "what if" scenarios.

The Republican field is only slightly less crowded - Giuliani, McCain, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, and a pair of inactive candidates, Bill Frist and George Allen. Players may also create their own candidates, even placing themselves on the ballot.

Hmmm - President McCauley has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

On my first try at directing a presidential campaign, I managed to run Clinton's White House hopes straight into the ground, losing the Democratic nomination to Obama in convincing fashion. Although my subsequent strategic mistakes were numerous, things got off to an especially bad start when I added a dash of conservatism to Clinton's health-care plan. Not only did I alienate the base, but I also left the candidate open to accusations of being a flip-flopper. For my second go-round, I opted to try life as a Republican and placed myself in charge of Giuliani's campaign.

I could have bypassed the primaries and taken the former Big Apple mayor straight to the general election as the Republican nominee, but what political junkie wants to miss out on the likes of New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin and Super Tuesday? In plotting the Giuliani campaign, I used President Forever's terrific interface to schedule TV spots, travel, campaign stops, speeches and the like. McCain, Romney and Gingrich, controlled by the computer, were doing likewise. Candidates can order up polls, go negative with their advertising, or score points with the electorate by appearing on TV with David Letterman or Jon Stewart.

The pace of a presidential campaign can be grueling, however, a reality that confronted me when I neglected to schedule adequate downtime for my candidate. The virtual Giuliani collapsed from exhaustion on the campaign trail, a circumstance that never plays well with potential voters.

The strategic options in President Forever seem endless. Players can court major endorsements or send special envoys known as "crusaders" out on the stump. Clinton's crusaders include James Carville and, of course, husband Bill. The Giuliani campaign could call on the likes of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for support.

In the final analysis, President Forever will keep political junkies glued to their PC screens. It's also a terrific option for teaching the political process in the classroom. For those with more of an international outlook, publisher 80soft offers similar products depicting the electoral politics of England, Canada, Australia and Germany.

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Sounds great. does anyone know about any advertising being done by 80soft? ! other thing. Why do they always say 'England' on that side of the pond. It really p%$&*s me off.

I see your point. On the other hand, I've read recently that Northern Ireland and Scotland both seem to be in good places now to make the move to independence. If that were to happen, I doubt the Welsh would sit idly as a spectators. A single 'England' might not be too far off......so I read. What do you think?

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Scotland has an outside chance of independence. The Scottish National Party are doing very well in the polls ahead of the elections for the Scottish Parliament in 2007, but Scottish independence support tends to have a way of ebbing away. However, with Gordon Brown trying to disassociate himself from Scotland as hard as he possibly can, you never know.

Wales, no chance. England and Wales have been bound much longer than Scotland or Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, and our legal systems are deeply intertwined. Even the nationalist Plaid Cymru are moving away sharply from independence - they're even just called Plaid now, dropping the Cymru (Wales).

Northern Ireland, it's possible, but I doubt it. Simply put, if the nation re-unites in Ireland Protestants and Unionists in general will go postal, blowing everything in sight up. As it stays with Britain, there are several problems as well. Yet despite this independence is seen as something that neither side particularly desires - there was a referendum in 1980 with support at just 2%, and the only real campaigners for an independent Northern Ireland are far-right parties such as Third Way (I believe that is their name).

England has its own separatists (the English Democrats, whom I am sympathetic to), and polls suggest that a clear majority are in favour of Scotland separating from the UK. And with the West Lothian question raising its ugly head and a clear consensus among the big two party's leaders against an English Parliament, this question is not going to die down

What is forgotten is the United Kingdom has existed for many years, and most people in the United Kingdom are monarchists. It's going to be difficult to break the ties that have existed for hundreds of years.

And true dat, LiberalUK. I am sick of people - especially foreigners - confusing England with the United Kingdom. They're two distinct things.

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Scotland has an outside chance of independence. The Scottish National Party are doing very well in the polls ahead of the elections for the Scottish Parliament in 2007, but Scottish independence support tends to have a way of ebbing away. However, with Gordon Brown trying to disassociate himself from Scotland as hard as he possibly can, you never know.

Wales, no chance. England and Wales have been bound much longer than Scotland or Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, and our legal systems are deeply intertwined. Even the nationalist Plaid Cymru are moving away sharply from independence - they're even just called Plaid now, dropping the Cymru (Wales).

Northern Ireland, it's possible, but I doubt it. Simply put, if the nation re-unites in Ireland Protestants and Unionists in general will go postal, blowing everything in sight up. As it stays with Britain, there are several problems as well. Yet despite this independence is seen as something that neither side particularly desires - there was a referendum in 1980 with support at just 2%, and the only real campaigners for an independent Northern Ireland are far-right parties such as Third Way (I believe that is their name).

England has its own separatists (the English Democrats, whom I am sympathetic to), and polls suggest that a clear majority are in favour of Scotland separating from the UK. And with the West Lothian question raising its ugly head and a clear consensus among the big two party's leaders against an English Parliament, this question is not going to die down

What is forgotten is the United Kingdom has existed for many years, and most people in the United Kingdom are monarchists. It's going to be difficult to break the ties that have existed for hundreds of years.

And true dat, LiberalUK. I am sick of people - especially foreigners - confusing England with the United Kingdom. They're two distinct things.

Firstly, Gordon Brown has not been trying to 'disassociate' himself with Scotland, he has simply been very active in promoting a campaign of pride in Great Britain. That is something very different.

As for independence, I see no chance of it. There will always be a large enough coaltition to keep the snp out. Often in the run up to elections they gain in popularity, no surprise its so vastly inflated with a still unelectable tory party north of the border and an ever unpopular labour party, one of their traditional support bases.

The english democrats so far as I'm aware are not so much seperatists, more so they campaign for a seperate english parliament.

I'm glad you are sympathetic to them jje, they favour electing the lords. :D True democrats.

Polls however are showing on the issue, more and more english people are happy for scotland to completely remove itself from the UK. They percieve them as a burden, and with good reason to, although I myself thing they should not be allowed to, at least not without referendum, which may well be a good idea. I think it would be massively rejected, and as a result of the increased profile of the issue, it would more than likely decimate the snp at an election.

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Is it alright to call United Kingdom-ese folk British? Politically correct speak is a cloudy area to me.

And in regards to the talks of independence, it seems that at the very least you are dealing with a very strong case of sectionalism. I'd be wary of that, because it grows. [see: American Civil War]

I'm not sure what the partys' stances in England are, but I certainly hope that it is not that Scotland is a burden, because people tend to not respnd too well to that.

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Is it alright to call United Kingdom-ese folk British? Politically correct speak is a cloudy area to me.

And in regards to the talks of independence, it seems that at the very least you are dealing with a very strong case of sectionalism. I'd be wary of that, because it grows. [see: American Civil War]

I'm not sure what the partys' stances in England are, but I certainly hope that it is not that Scotland is a burden, because people tend to not respnd too well to that.

It's OK to call us British, because frankly apart from a few radical Northern Irish republicans pretty much all of us feel we are British, and most of that British above whatever home nationality we are in.

Scotland is a bit of a burden thinking about it, because their oil is drying up and we funnel a hell of a lot of money into Scotland (there's a formula that says Scotland gets greater public expenditure into the country) and we do get a lot of hostility back. That may be why most people want them out.

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It's OK to call us British, because frankly apart from a few radical Northern Irish republicans pretty much all of us feel we are British, and most of that British above whatever home nationality we are in.

Scotland is a bit of a burden thinking about it, because their oil is drying up and we funnel a hell of a lot of money into Scotland (there's a formula that says Scotland gets greater public expenditure into the country) and we do get a lot of hostility back. That may be why most people want them out.

That is true.

I think alot of that could be minimised drastically if England were to have its own seperate parliament. People do not like the fact that Scottish Mps vote on solely english matters, something they are increasingly waking up to.

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That is true.

I think alot of that could be minimised drastically if England were to have its own seperate parliament. People do not like the fact that Scottish Mps vote on solely english matters, something they are increasingly waking up to.

Indeed. I mean, a shining example of that is top-up fees. Doesn't affect Scotland yet was passed thanks to Scottish votes (without those it would have failed).

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