Leaky World is a game of original UI played on a map of the world, with red dots representing the locations of important cities. Starting from one red dot, a line begins to grow; you can sweep the line clockwise and counterclockwise with the arrow keys. When the line intersects another red dot, a permanent link between the two dots is created, and a new line begins to emerge from the newly linked city. Your objective is to create a network linking all these cities in a limited amount of time; a white wave slowly grows from screen bottom as your time runs out.
From time to time, a city turns white and starts to "drip." This increases the rapidity with which your time expires. You can stop it dripping by cutting all the links between that city and others by holding down the space bar while running your growing line across a link.
As a game qua game, Leaky World is an interesting, quick-playing title with original UI that is modestly entertaining but not so compelling that you will wish to replay it ad infinitum. It's also quite difficult to win, although not impossible.
But of course, as with all Molleindustria games, there is a political subtext. Pedercini bills the game as "a playable theory," and the theory in question is "Conspiracy as Governance," by Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. Assange maintains that conspiracies are real, that they are networks, and that they can be attacked by release of information; it's Pedercini's interpretation of the essay (which speaks only in terms of terrorist and authoritarian conspiracies) that casts the struggle as against a global conspiracy of elites. But this is the context of his game; the lines you create, metaphorically, represent the links among the global elite. Interesting, you are playing as the global elite, trying to establish total domination, while the leaks of those who are presumably resisting you are random spawns of the opposing game system. And "cutting the links" presumably implies doing things like, say, jailing Assange to attempt to cripple his organization. The game suggests, however, that doing so would be fruitless, as new links would appear elsewhere; the global communications infrastructure increasingly makes secrets, and possibly thus, conspiracy impossible.
As least that seems to be Pedercini's interpretation of Assange's far from pellucid essay. Pedercini specifically takes issue with some of Assange's ideas, including that leaks alone will be sufficient to rouse societies to productive change; Pedercini is Marx-influenced enough to think that something more vigorous is required (at least in terms of collective action, if not necessarily in terms of armed revolution).
The metaphorical nature of this and some of Pedercini's other political titles deserves particular attention. The political games of people like Bogost and Frasca typically are not metaphorical but direct: killing terrorists literally creates more terrorists in September 12, petty authority literally enacts inane rules about what you can bring on the plane in Airport Security. This seems part and parcel with the proceduralist rhetoric (which I've mouthed myself in the past) that "the mechanic is the message;" since games are systems, literal representation of systems in games is the way to cast light on them.
Leaky World is suggesting an alternative; instead of literal representation, provide a metaphorical representation, a subtext to your game. After all, not all phenomena are well suited to direct simulation; and the use of metaphor and subtext for impact is well developed, and effectively used, in many artforms outside games. And metaphor is more flexible; we aren't constrained by excessive literality.
Pedercini does not, however, seem to have faith in his own methodology; his interpretation of Assange, and Assange's own essay, are on the same page as his game. It is as if an artist's statement is necessary to make sense of the artist's work -- frequently an occurrence in the contemporary art scene, but a noxious thing, in my opinion. The work should stand on its own (which is why this critique begins with a discussion of the work as a game, a ludological object, before delving into its other aspects), and subtext should lend depth and power to the work, perhaps leading the player to an epiphany.
A player, without Pedercini's explanation, would not be likely ever to say "oh, he's reacting to Assange's essay," since few will have read the essay (which is not exactly a staggeringly important work of political discourse -- tedious and kind of dumb, really). But a player might well say "hm, there's a subtext about global domination by elites here, that's interesting, and obviously Wikileaks is in here somewhere". Which should be sufficient, I'd think.
Pedercini's assumption that most players won't "get it" without an explicit discussion is troubling; he may be right, but if so, that says something about the paucity of most players' experience of the game -- the "gotta be fun" mentality, the "million of guns" appeal, and the unwillingness to anticipate any kind of intellectual depth in games -- a characteristic of both gamers and the critics of games.