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A New Political Campaign

Ian Bogost brings up a new genre of video games that I have never even heard of before.  Recently, during major political elections, there have been games created to promote a particular candidate.  This is interesting simply because it shows the relevance and importance that video games have on modern day society.  There is now for the first time, or possibly just the first time it is being recognized, power in the video game.  Much like radio and then television, messages are being put into this modern form of communication.  According to Bogost, entire games have been created about political candidates.  While these do not cover every issue that the candidate represents, these games do “get smiling faces and simple ideas in front of voters to appeal to what ails them” (61).  A voter can easily see a main issue that a candidate strongly deals with.  Along with entire games, we have seen ads placed in games, like in the 2008 Obama campaign.  This really is an entirely new platform for politics to run on.  Video games and politics have always remained up until the last few years, mostly separated.  Games can now be embraced from a new angle and perhaps looked at from a new light from many people.  What seems like the most important part of this concept is the acknowledgment for how to reach the  population of young voters.  With less people listening to the radio or watching commercials on television, politicians are realizing that video games are the best way to reach adults in their late teens and twenties.  This is an exciting thing for the video game industry simply because for one of the first times, it is being recognized as the force that it is.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “A New Political Campaign

  1. I agree with you, i also found this section of the book quite interesting. It is true politics and gaming has mostly been two separate entities. But in this modern era, where politicians are using every bit of technology to help them get their votes, this did not surprise me much. Politicians and even the Vatican, use medium such as twitter and Facebook to get the attention of young people. Bogost asks interesting questions here: What is the role of video games in Politics? he does state that video games and politics are separate “they do not participate,” but that gaming is a tool, just like other social medias and technology. I agree with you, as video games have become a part of politicking, we now recognise the cultural and social power if gaming.

    Posted by aditipre | May 29, 2013, 5:12 pm
  2. I found this chapter in the book interesting also. However, I am still not sure how I feel about politics in video games when it comes to campaigning. While I agree that it does get the attention of younger voters, I feel as though these games need to have a representation of a few things that the candidate represents. If they don’t, these young people could end up voting for a candidate for all of the wrong reasons. I really liked the idea of Take Bake Illinois though. I think it is a really creative idea to help people figure out exactly where they stand when it comes to many political issues that we face every day.

    Posted by sierrasu | June 1, 2013, 12:16 pm
  3. I think its a bit unfair to say that when politicians recognize video games that it can finally be said video games are being recognized for their power. Very often politicians are the last people to pick up on trends and as cynical as a lot of my acquaintances are, I believe that video games produced by politicians with the intent of luring in younger voters would not be met with a raised voter awareness but more like a raised annoyance level. I agree with a previous comment that using video games to help voters figure out which side they actually agree with is a very good application but for the most part, politicians recognition of video game’s widespread draw is merely just another campaign tactic.

    Posted by Ben Tarhan | June 3, 2013, 12:13 am

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