NewsGaming.com has released a Shockwave game called September 12, which is similar to America’s Army in that you’re taking part in the war on terror, but is dissimilar to that game in every other way. Newsgaming is run by Gonzalo Frasca of the gaming theory site ludology.org. The comments on Game Girl Advance run a nice gamut of responses, from outrage to approval to little strategy guides.

September 12 is an interesting and provocative start for an ambitious team of developers, but it really is a one-note song, in line with “traditional printed political cartoons,” and has the same problem that most editorial cartoons have: they can’t actually convince anyone to change their mind about an issue. The reader of an editorial cartoon or the player of an editorial game is already predisposed to either agree or disagree with the author’s thesis, and the form doesn’t offer enough room to make a compelling argument. Frasca seems pretty dedicated to the idea of simulation as a political tool, though, so hopefully, he and his team will be able to stretch out and create more nuanced environments that can really engage players in a dialogue.