Heard on the Hill

Political Junkie Rolls Dice on Gaming Venture

Political junkie John Hogan wants to help you wear your (bleeding) heart — as well as your pedigree, tax bracket and personal values — on your sleeve with his prospective pastime, “The United States of Entitlement”:

Unitedstatespdf from John Hogan

The engineer-turned-gaming entrepreneur is seeking backers on Kickstarter for his potentially divisive diversion, promising those who contribute the opportunity to royally stir things up.

“Be the first kid on your block to throw a killer party for your conservative and liberal friends that will get some real meaningful interesting discussion going,” he says in his video intro.

The game — think “Life” but on econ-fueled steroids — propels players from birth to death (marriage, anyway).

Then they embark on a quest to claim an inheritance ($50,000 to $3 million), select a career track (getting started in farming costs bupkus, while adding an M.D. to your title drains $2 million from your coffers), earn income (each player must answer three questions, escalating in difficulty, to bolster their net worth; athlete is the highest-paying gig, while teacher scrapes the bottom of the barrel), marry (another player) and attempt to sway others' political beliefs (two-thirds majority is required to impose a uniform political regime on all players).

According to Hogan, experience has shown the outcome is ultimately decided not by wealth hoarders, Machiavellian manipulation or even luck, but by careful observation. “The person that wins is [typically] the person who can best read people,” Hogan explained.

“I think it could be in high schools, in colleges … or for a wine party on Friday nights, which is what we use it for,” he suggested.