The lights are on
The U.S. government shutdown continues, leaving federal agencies shuttered and employees furloughed indefinitely. Like most Americans, you've probably thought just about anyone could be doing a better job of settling the issue – regardless of who you feel is to ultimately to blame for this mess. Thanks to the magic of video games, you can give it a shot. We've got a list of games that let you live out your dreams, whether you see yourself as a peacemaker or powermonger.
SimCityWhile SimCity (pictured above) might not put you in the president's seat, you still have a vast amount of power. Everything from taxation to transportation is under your control, and the sims are more than content to vote with their feet. Do right by them, and your town will flourish. Fail, and it's all your fault – unless you want to pin it on your advisers. But who would do such a thing?
Evil GeniusIf you'd rather torture a sim than care for one, Evil Genius might be more in your wheelhouse. This strategy game lets you manage an evil empire that would make even the most successful James Bond villain jealous. Don't worry about being holed up on your island base; your influence spreads across the globe like a wonderful disease.
Tropico 4Tropico 4 puts a satirical spin on Latin American dicatorships, putting you in the (lone) seat of power. You can be as benevolent as you want, choosing to fund education and create gorgeous vacation getaways (to siphon tourist bucks). Or you can make everyone miserable as you crush your enemies and send out hit squads to silence dissent. Heck, why not do both? You're el presidente, after all.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.