In Case You’re Still Undecided …

Ask the gaming community about elections

By: Rich Shivener

Filed Under: Feature Humor

Election Day is here, and for some of us, it will be a day of rejoice; for others, terror. Nevertheless, the presidential candidates have played their games for months on end, crowding our bumpers, television screens, and, as Aaron Matteson once mentioned, our video game consoles, namely Xbox 360. Today will of course be the culmination of their battle, a slugfest unpacked by media the world over.

Despite all the political noise, there are still many undecided voters in this country, as evidenced by battleground states and so forth. We can’t tell you how to vote, but we can tell you how and where to find some inspiration. And you guessed it – we’re talking about the gaming community.

If you want a refresher on campaign dealings, try Win the White House, a short, turn-based, Flash game in which you run for President of the United States. The player sides with a party and then supports such issues as nuclear disarmament and alternative energy. Fundraising awards you with turns of polling, advertising and speeches. When I played, I often raised funds in Texas and California, which offer three turns, the maximum. Some states offer one. I felt bad ignoring them, but I was thirsty for victory. I got it, scoring 279 electoral votes. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is a rather easy game aimed at younger audiences.

If you want a sampling of gamers talking politics, democracy and so forth, troll gaming forums. Though Valve prohibits political discourse on its Steam forums, they still have interesting discussions on the topics in question. One thread “What do you think of the state of this country?” covered communism and eventually parlayed in one person’s tirade on Obama and Romney. “Both seem to think they can create jobs, which is interesting to say the least. Neither are serious about taking a good look at the economics as they are now and by that I mean the function of the Federal Reserve, the manipulation of money markets, inflation, deflation, etc….” Take the comments as you will. Elsewhere,  Giant Bomb has its “Official 2012 USA Presidental Election Thread,” with more than 100 replies. The author wrote: “I don’t want this to be a discussion of their policies or whatever, heaven knows we already have enough of that. Just discuss the election, who you voted for if you have, whine about how you live in a swing state and you are getting tired of Romney ads (honestly I’d get tired of Obama ads if they were on more).”

If you’re leaning one way and want an extra push, there are several notable games out there. Giant Bomb’s Patrick Kleptek notes the makings of Political Machine 2012 and Strategery 2012, the latter of which is free to play and cited as a riff on the tactics game Advance Wars. It’s really a game of verbal sparring between both parties’ volunteers and press secretaries. Oh, and voter suppression.

And if you want a punch at one candidate or the other, or both, play Vote, once analyzed by BitCreature’s own Richard Clark. “The people who brought us the incredibly popular Infinity Blade series now bring us the free iPad game, Vote, which may well be the definitive political game of this election cycle.” This writer agrees with Clark’s comments on the implications of Vote. “We watch these titans battle for our entertainment and for our betterment. But now, unable to make a compelling case, we’re fighting battles for them, bludgeoning one another with meaningless platitudes and buzzwords.”

All and all, enjoy the day. That’s one decision we would make for you.

Filed Under: Feature Humor

About the Author:
Rich Shivener is the Lead Editor of Bit Creature. He is also a writer, instructor and iPad whisperer from the shores of Northern Kentucky. You can find him in Publishers Weekly and Writer's Digest, among other places.

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