By David Craddock
It seems like all popular media formats get to air out their political opinions for all to see: music, literature, cinema, television. But just recently, what many consider to be the top form of entertainment has started to flex its political muscle. The media format I’m referring to is none other than our favorite hobby here at MyGamer.com: video games.
Many games have begun to appear online that express the writer’s opinion towards the 2004 presidential election in one way or another. [i]The Political Machine[/i], released this past August by Ubisoft, allows the player to take Bush, Kerry or any other past presidential candidate (George W. Bush vs JFK? Go for it!) through an entire campaign, smear jobs, debating and everything in between.
[a]http://www.bushgame.com[aa]BushGame.com[/a] allows players to play an anti-George W. Bush game in which the players select a 1980s television character to battle the members of “Dubya’s” administration. At the end of each level, players are rewarded with a text message negatively critiques Bush’s position on the Iraq situation, Social Security, and the economy in general.
The creator of [a]http://www.bushgame.com[aa]BushGame.com[/a], 25-year-old Jason Oda, simply wants to make a point.
”I just hoped that people can go beyond the obvious little soundbites you hear all the time and have better ammunition and better understanding of the reasons why Bush should be out of the White House,” he said.
Oda says the game is aimed at the “South park generation,” which seems to appreciate a more humorous approach to the issues of today. In this reporter’s view, it’s a much more effective way to reach out to a younger generation then to throw boring statistics and facts at them on a local news broadcast.
In the interest of fairness, it’s my duty to point out that Anti-Bush games are the only form of political media available to Internet gamers. 31-year-old David Sicherman, proprietor of [a]http://www.kerrysucks.com[aa]KerrySucks.com[/a], says his site features games that are there to make his opinion known, and to provide relaxation for the casual web surfer who is probably not as interested in politics.
”The average (Internet) surfer is not interested in politics,” he said. ”No one is going decide who they’re going to vote for based on the video game, but if they play an anti-Kerry game, and they’re anti-Kerry, it makes them laugh.”
No matter what your point of view may be, it’s clearly obvious that video gamers like yourself have plenty of means available to you to express your point of view. Whether you’re pro-Bush, pro-Kerry, in-between, or just don’t care, many of the games available online can give you one simple pleasure in life: the ability to laugh!