by Sid Meier
Inc. Firaxis Games
This is the sci-fi version of the famous game "Civilization" also by Sid Meier. There are seven factions of humyns in the game, and it is notable that communist is not one of them.
We have 1) Christian 2) Environmentalist 3) Totalitarian/Confucian/authoritarian/maybe communist "beehive" character 4) The business faction Morgan just making money 5) The science faction 6) The survivalists modeled on U.$. survivalists/militia types 7) bourgeois internationalists as represented by a United Nations leader.
The Chinese-looking character is modeled to be unappealing, so we chose to play as the scientist. The Christian team usually is the first to attack. MIM makes no bones about sympathizing with the environmentalist and scientist characters. Obviously we are opposed to the capitalist and Christian characters.
As in many other science fiction games, there is trade, but the player does plan production, organize the economy and advance science. For this reason alone, we can give thanks to science fiction strategy games. They are not about being yanked hither and thither by consumers. The market does not rule: clearly your own plan matters.
The science-fiction genre in general is inherently progressive at this time in history. This game proves it. Even though Sid Meier excised us communists as a theme in humyn history and even though previous games invented by Sid Meier give the communists or Soviet type characters the credit only of spying well relative to "democracies" that do business well and advance technology; nonetheless, it seems hardly anyone (even anti-communist lovers of "democracy") envisions the future of the economy as capitalist. It seems that economic planning not free markets is a natural for science-fiction ranging from "Star Trek" to "Alpha Centauri," if only because it makes for a more interesting game or a game easier to program, exactly why, we do not know.
One quirk of Sid Meier's games including this one and "Civilization" is that it is possible to buy entire cities from the enemy or opposing factions. On the one hand, buying control is more peaceful than attacking. On the other hand, there are some cities that the other players will not sell, and this leads inevitably to war. One will either expand and win or be peaceful and lose in the Civilization-type games.
MIM gives a general endorsement to strategy simulation games relative to the majority of computer games. Even so, "Alpha Centauri" has the heavy drawback of ultimately being about war and preparing for it. Amongst strategy games, Trevor Chan's "Capitalism II" stands out in this regard as being not about genocide but business competition. "Superpower" also deserves some credit for allowing victory through other than total war. In "Alpha Centauri," the only peace comes from conquering the world. Since there is no real proletarian character in this game, progressives will have to conquer the world on behalf of environmentalism or science.