Re: The Broccoli Mandate (Adam Serwer & Peter Suderman)
As resident "will be kind of a jerk about video games if they get talked about on Blogging Heads," let me point out how Adam needs to play more video games/not talk about them.
1. Don't read too much into video games that aren't art games, because they're really just emulating genre. A western that's "libertarian" is as common as a JRPG that attacks a medieval Catholic church stand-in. That doesn't mean Matsuno has a real critique of religion, just that he wants you to fight a pope at the end.
2. Bioware/Obsidian make games that are anti-libertarian because of the people who write them, not because of any broad video game dictat. Jade Empire had "moral choice" in the form of "open palm" and "closed fist." You can guess which 1 was libertarian, and you can guess which was evil. They're Canadian/northern European, which partially explains it. Ken Levine is a hack inspired by comic books, which tend to be anti-libertarian, too. There are better writers for "that side," and moderately good writers for conservatives/libertarians, too (Lovedelic's designers, Brad Wardell, Doug TenNapel, and so on).
3. Don't expect Peter Molyneux to simulate economics, I guess? Go with a deep strategy game, since they allow for more accurate societal simulation (if that's what you're looking for in a video game).
4. All of your concerns about digital empathy are addressed brilliantly with Lovedelic's games and their spinoffs.
It was a noble effort, though.