Newsgaming is a new project which uses videogames to "analyze, debate, comment, and editorialize major international news". I feel that computer simulations (i.e. "videogames you can't win") are a powerful tool to teach people about how the world works. Exploring simulations can give strong intuition about the core issues and interactions underlying a system, even if its dynamics are quite complex. Try playing their first game "September 12th" for a simple example of what could be done with the medium.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a seminar by Joshua Epstein, a fellow of the Brookings Institution and member of the external faculty of the Sante Fe Institute, who build agent-based simulations to investigate phenomena from the social sciences. His book Growing Artifical Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up is a good introduction to the possibilities of the agent-based modeling approach. Mr. Epstein spoke about his upcoming book, and specifically about his recent work in agent-based computational epidemiology &emdash; that is, the study of disease transmission using computer simulations. This research has added insight into the most effective ways to combat communicable diseases.
A working paper on the model is available here: Toward a Containment Strategy for Smallpox Bioterror: An Individual-Based Computational Approach.