Nerd Report: Empire & State Infuse Economics and Politics In New Game

A Redmond-based gaming startup crafts a new game that's both entertaining and instructive for those

The next time you’re bored at work, resist the urge to flip through your ex’s Facebook photos and engage in a productive distraction instead. Empire & State is a new MMO game (that is, “massively multiplayer online,” meaning opponents are playing from their own computers) from Redmond-based gaming startup Novel Inc. While most MMOs take place in the fantasy realm, Empire & State designers focused instead on the realm of economics and politics, crafting a game that’s entertaining but also could be instructive for those climbing the corporate ladder. Set in a developing world, Empire & State (free and due out in beta in the coming months) allows players to claim property, conduct business transactions and organize labor through strategic trading and trickery in economic, political, militaristic or espionage roles. Created with the working professional in mind, the game can be played in short intervals as opposed to the hours-long sessions associated with traditional MMOs—a feature Novel hopes will draw more casual gamers. Who knows? The tactical skills you hone might just get you out of the daily grind and into your dream job.