Just got cajoled into creating my own country at NationStates, an online game that lets users explore the ramifications of political decisions on economies and social structures within a country whose parameters you establish and modify by making hard-core decisions. NationStates is no Sims knockoff — more of a text-based petri dish you can use to see how your political ideals might play out in the real world, if actually realized.
The Most Serene Republic of Theremins is a tiny, environmentally stunning nation, notable for its absence of drug laws. Its hard-nosed, intelligent population of 7 million are fiercely patriotic and enjoy great social equality; they tend to view other, more capitalist countries as somewhat immoral and corrupt. The government — a sprawling, bureaucracy-choked, socially-minded morass — is mainly concerned with Law & Order, although Healthcare and Education are on the agenda. The average income tax rate is 41%, but much higher for the wealthy. Private enterprise is illegal, but for those in the know there is a slick and highly efficient black market in Cheese Exports.
Game play consists of deciding one issue a day, with brief pro/con arguments there to help you find conviction; my first was whether to enforce compulsory voting on my citizens (lord, no). Looking forward to seeing how this evolves.