Can the political parties influence voters through games? Yes, according to researchers affiliated with the Media and Communication department of the Faculty of Historical and Art Sciences of Erasmus University Rotterdam. They researched the effect of political games on potential voters.
These political games are cool stuff for 16-year-olds. It gives your growing young adult an overview of politics and the challenges that come with it.
Politics in Games
New media have become a natural part of political campaigns. In the context of the elections, many game providers have launched politically inclined online games that attract the attention of young people. The research shows that people who play these games, and those who make the games, feel a great deal of political and social involvement.
Researchers interviewed game developers o political games. They revealed that it was a conscious decision to use the game’s medium. Games offer the opportunity to inform people in an interactive and entertaining way, and therefore to engage them about a certain topic. This combination of informing and entertaining is what makes games suitable for increasing public interest in political and social topics, according to the researchers.
Political Games That Gets You Involved
Players of the games indicated that afterward, they were more inclined to search for information about the subject of the game. The researchers also concluded that playing such games works as a ‘social facilitator’. This means that after playing the game, people discussed the topic with their friends and family. The need to informally discuss the topic discussed in the game with the immediate environment shows greater involvement in the political and social field. Playing such games allows the political domain to play a larger role in everyday life in a relatively simple way.
Super Mario (Wouter) Bos
In 2006, a similar initiative by the PvdA, Super Mario Bos, did not go down well at computer game manufacturer Nintendo. It was a video of a Super Mario parody, in which the then party leader Wouter Bos tried to solve various social problems. Under pressure from Nintendo, the party eventually took the video offline.
Political computer games aren’t new anyway. In America, the game Floppy Candidate was previously launched – by the Washington Post – where you, as one of the presidential candidates, also play the lead in a game that resembles the once-popular Flappy Bird.
The Floppy Candidate
Defeat Hillary Clinton’s aliens
Both Clinton and Trump’s campaign teams had an app with game elements. Those who worked well for the campaign could collect points or gold stars. And there are also plenty of private games. There is Trump Doom, where you – as Trump – have to kill aliens hired by Clinton to get to the speaker stage.