We found that something as innocuous as a food item emoji icon can be employed to denote body parts or sex when Instagram banned the eggplant emoji from its search algorithm earlier this year after it was used to tag “lewd” photos of men and their, um, well, eggplants. Perhaps to no surprise to fans of…
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To Be Mandela Or Amin? New Video Game Lets You Try To Build Democracy In AfricaBy John Massey
Democracy 3: Africa, is the latest standalone game in the indie game darling “Democracy” series, by Positech Studios.
The “Democracy” series places the player in the position of the head of government for a country, and gives the player the ability to tinker with policies, with the eventual goal of being reelected, and maybe solving a few social problems.
This is complicated by the existence of several mutually exclusive, or otherwise contradictory interest groups vying for your attention, i.e. Conservatives and Liberals, Capitalists and Socialists, etc.
“D3:A” takes several creative and technical leaps from the more “vanilla” Democracy 3.
Positech Studios is in fact a one man show; the brainchild of developer Cliff Harris.
RISE NEWS contacted Harris via email to expound on some of these additions, and how they reflect the realities of policy making in the variously depicted African countries.
Central to what Harris wants players to take away, is the caveat that Africa is not homogeneous.
” Its not just how you see it portrayed in the media, especially the US media,” Harris said. “The continent faces some really tough problems that are far harder than the problems that Western Democracies face.”
Some of the problems in “D3:A” do crop up quite often, and central to that is the addition of a new game feature- Stability.
“Pretty much everything else becomes an irrelevance unless you have stable government.”
“I think the one thing that I have learned from the modeling of these countries is the importance of stability,” Harris said. “Pretty much everything else becomes an irrelevance unless you have stable government.
“Nobody invests in a country where they may lose their whole investment in a coup, or a currency devaluation. Nobody takes a holiday somewhere where there are riots or a civil uprising. It’s something that we absolutely take for granted in the West.”
Managing stability becomes more so pressing when capital deprived environments are unable to attract investors.
This led Positech to make Foreign Policy a more active component of the game.
WATCH: Trailer for Democracy 3: Africa
“We have tended to skirt around foreign policy in the original game… We felt that it would simply be impossible to do this with African states, because the impact of foreign policy, especially when it comes to foreign investment is so large,” Harris said. “There is an assumption that corruption is low, stability is good and there are no major human-rights abuses that may reflect poorly on investors, but none of those statements are true for certain African states, so it would simply have been inaccurate not to be able to reflect that in the game.”
This line of thinking lends itself to institution building, a commonly echoed theme in addressing floundering democracies in the region.
Harris illustrates an inherent contradiction in efforts to build institutions:
“Essentially, it’s easier to fix a countries problems if you are an all-powerful dictator, because things just ‘get done’ without argument, so there is a temptation to keep hold of power to make the job of government easier. Obviously the end goal is to fix a countries problems AND have a functioning Democracy, but there is tension between these two goals when your country has real problems, and I think that gives some insight into how so many dictators originally feel they are acting ‘on behalf of the people’ and then cannot let go of power.”
This kind of paradox is perhaps most prevalent in the rule of el-Sisi in Egypt, who simultaneously is backed by the military, but has arguably improved the standing of women in Egypt and taken some measures to secularize education.
While “Democracy 3: Africa” is not a survey of African politics, it does offer a cursory look at the challenges that affect countries on the continent in an accessible interactive platform.
Perhaps most importantly, and optimistically, the game can be seen as a lesson for those that care about democratic institutions.
“Ultimately all political problems *can* be resolved given the will to do so,” Harris wrote in an email.
Democracy 3: Africa is available on Steam, GoG, and Positech’s own website.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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Unholy Toledo: GOP Candidate For Mayor Starts Speaking In Tongues At Local Radio StationBy Staff Report
Tonight we bring onto you one of the best videos we could find on the Internet right now.
Ye will soon thank us for this glorious bounty.
But first, let’s set the stage.
Opal Covey is a 75-year-old Toledo resident who has become a fixture in the northwestern Ohio community. (Opal Covey also sounds like a law firm that specializes in a sad sort of construction law.)
Oh course she’s a fixture because she is constantly talking about why she believes that God told her that she will be mayor one day.
“In 2000, the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘you’re going to be mayor’,” Covey told NBC 24. “So, I know I have to keep on running until that happens.”
Covey has run for mayor of the city four times before, but has never garnered more than 400 votes.
In her 2015 campaign, Covey decided to stop by local radio station, 1370 WSPD. After an interview, host Fred LeFebvre and Covey had quite the conversation in a hallway at the station. Luckily for us all, it was recorded.
Things start to go downhill around the 1:00 mark of the video after LeFebvre calls Covey a “false prophet” for not winning elect before.
We’d hate to spoil the rest.
Watch: Candidate For Toledo Mayor Speaks In Tongues
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Photo Credit: Screenshot/ 1370 WSPD VideoPost Views: 922
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This Cartoon Uses Christmas To Make A Really Important Point About ToleranceBy Staff Report
The internet has taken it on the chin over the past few months.
The alt-right. Pizza gate. Tomi Lahren’s continued popularity.
But sometimes, some profound thoughts can come from this primordial stew too often fouled by propaganda and porn.
This is one of those times.
An imgur post from last year is starting to make the rounds because of its profound yet simple message regarding the importance of tolerance in our society.
The post came on Christmas Eve of 2015 by a user named dodo156.
The headline is simple, “A nativity scene without Jews, Arabs, Africans or refugees.”
Here’s the photo that ran with that headline:
Makes you think a little doesn’t it?
In this age of hate and division, perhaps we could all stand to be a bit more tolerant of our fellow-man.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.Post Views: 1,076
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