I stumbled upon the weirdly fascinating newspaper censorship sim, The Westport Independent, on the show floor this past week and I'm very glad I did. I'd heard about Double Zero One Zero's project a while back but like most games that are still quite a ways off it sort of faded from my mind after that initial interest. And now that I've gotten some hands-on time with a still pre-release build, I'm interested again.
In The Westport Independent you act as the editor of a newspaper in a mid-20th century city that seems just a tad oppressed. Actually it seems like there's a totalitarian government in place, but your perception of the city and its citizens may change depending on how you write the news.
Your job as editor of The Westport Independent is to take a look at potential stories, decide how you'd like to phrase the headline, cherrypick important paragraphs to include (or cut out the ones you don't like), then pick a staff writer to put it all together. Different writers will have different thoughts on the politics involved, and sometimes they might not be happy about covering certain topics. They might get a little... suspicious.
You'll also be handling the distribution of your newspaper to the different districts of the city, but some will value one brand of news over another, which will mean that front page article on police brutality might not go over so well in the ritzy neighborhood. Your newspaper may start to sway the citizens' opinion of their city over time, though. And the types of stories that come up will occasionally tie into previously published articles, allowing you to follow along (and in some cases influence the outcome of) some small but significant goings on.
Of course as you start to get popular, you'll attract more attention. And the more attention you attract, the more likely you are to draw the eye of the police or even the government.
There's no definitive launch info on The Westport Independent yet, but it's going to make its way to the iPad sometime in the hopefully-near future. It's "probably" coming to the iPhone as well, although the smaller screen will require some interface tweaking.