While Political Animals was made for the retail market, we've always hoped that it could be used for educational purposes. Part of our goal as a studio is to try to broaden the topics that games are allowed to talk about, and having the game used in classrooms and thesis dissertations definitely aligns with that goal.
However, Political Animals is a little difficult to pitch to educational institutions. As a turn-based political strategy game It doesn't easily fall into the genre of “edutainment”, and any lessons to be extracted from it are solely based on the interpretations of a teacher or student. Lessons that might be learned include weighing the different moral decision you have to make during an event. There could also be a discussion about campaign strategy, or perhaps the difference between different electoral systems (Political Animals uses straight majority as opposed to the Electoral College). But there are no lesson plans of any sort, or guidelines for how to use the game in this way.
This is why we need your help. If you are an educational practitioner of social studies, politics, anthropology or any other subject where you feel that there might be some merit in having your students play our game, we would love to hear from you! To give you an idea of how it might be used, I did an analysis of the most recent US election a few months ago. I'm sure you could do a much better job than that.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject line “Political Animals for Education” with an introduction of yourself, your school or institution and how you'd plan to use the game in your class, and we'll give you a free copy of the game. In return we'd love your feedback on your experiences and the results, if any. If all goes well we'd love to release an education site license similar to that done by Democracy 3. Thanks, and we hope you can spread the word to your fellow educators!