Over the past year or so, there have been several efforts to improve understanding of real-life politics through video games. Here are a couple of recent examples:
Peace Maker is a Java-based game that simulates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to "promote peaceful resolution." As the Israeli PM or the Palestinian President, players react to attacks, other political leaders, and social groups while trying to craft diplomatic solutions.
Supported by Reebok and the Internation Crisis Group, Darfur is Dying seeks to make that reality more real. Online users hide from the Janjaweed while foraging for water or water.
And of course, there are the old-school simulations like the International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS) here at UM.