The Free Culture Game is not up to the standards of Paolo's usual propaganda, but the angle of this particular piece kinda puts you in a meta-statement mood regarding the analysis of games as propaganda, otherwise persuasive, and how games about markets and social systems can sometimes also be about games in general, both phenomenologically and in terms of the metaphysical boundaries of what games can be.
Antidisestablishmentarianism. Eat it.
So like, this is a Flash that has you moving little idea objects into the little heads of little ol' people who turn green when you feed them thoughts. When you feed the people ideas, they then poop out more ideas -- literally, off the top of their heads. A vacuum cleaner called capitalism keeps sucking up ideas to feed to the passive consumers, who have turned gray. By moving your mouse around to herd the ideas to the people, you keep the mojo flowing and eventually become the John Lennon/V for Vendetta guy of the game world, turning it into some kind of user-created-content lovefest. It's like the end of The Invisibles, but not as vivid.
The argument seems to be this: When ideas are shared, everyone gets richer, because the total number of ideas tends to increase in a recombinant explosion of creativity. Copyright is kind of fallacious, because all patterns of information are by default in the commons of vast, unexplored or previously explored possibility space. Ideas only become intellectual property when someone takes them out of the commons and stamps a (C) on it. The game is basically inviting you to say: "Fuck that!"
The problem with The Free Culture Game is that the invitation is blunt, and is procedurally a two-note message. I've been told by some that they spent more time reading the instructions than playing the game. The real value here is the rhetorical implication that yes, ideas are in the commons by default, and that greater individual wealth, in terms of volume, can be had by sacrificing individual wealth in terms of % of the pie. These two fairly complex ideas are flexed with great ease by a very simple game. Think of what subversions and revolutions can be silently sewn using this medium, where market models and multiplayer machinations mold to make a mightier mind of the player. So many games feed us sick power fantasies of bending timespace; we need games that feed us healthy reflections of real powers we've been dulled to ignore. For providing another promising but flawed example of this potential, I give Paolo a (C)+.