An interactive, text adventure game aimed at teaching teenagers about politics.

Alia A, Adrianna B, & Hannah L

Millennials are the group least identify with either major party, and are least likely to vote, so we aim to attract a younger audience to our game with humor, while still educating players. Politricks was created using JavaScript, HTML, CSS because of their accessibility online. We also utilized the twitter API to provide a string of recent tweets from news channels and the presidential candidates. In order to educate our players, we provide them with information through conversations with three characters that represent the Democratic & Republican parties, as well as an independent voters. Online, and free to play at politricks.itch.io/politricks.

An Independent Sloth
Republican Elephant
A Democratic Donkey

Throughout the years, an alarming trend regarding the age of voters in America has surfaced. At the 2012 presidential elections, approximately 70% of citizens older than 60 turned out to vote compared to a mere 40% of citizens aged 18-29. The obvious problem this poses is that disinterest among the younger generation means that decisions made by the government will not reflect the actual desire of the American people.

Today, in the midst of two highly contested presidential campaigns, it is even more important that everyone, especially the millennial generation, votes at the upcoming presidential election. The two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, represent polar opposite views, and whoever becomes president will lead the country down a very distinct path. However, just casting a vote isn’t enough, which is why we aim to educate people with our game and encourage them to vote. Uneducated voters can cause equal or greater harm to the country than a lack of voting.

There is one catch. In a two party system, where the potential outcomes are so different, it is doubly important to consider which candidate is better, even if you don’t entirely agree with their views. Historically, in the 2000 election, Al Gore won the popular vote by nearly half a million votes., but George Bush won the electoral college. The deciding state was Florida, where Bush won by 537 votes. In order to not repeat past mistakes, it is important to vote either Democrat or Republican, because you do have a voice. Consequently, we had a little additional focus on the views of Trump and Clinton.

We believe that, ultimately, people won’t pay much attention to a game that they don’t think they’ll have fun playing. So, in order to make our game as effective as possible, we tried our best to create a balance between both educational and entertaining content for our players. This strategy is especially important given that our initial purpose when making this game was to help younger audiences gain interest in politics and encourage them to vote.

When doing our research, we found that no one else was taking an approach like this when it came to teaching about the U.S. political party systems or their beliefs. With that in mind, we are extremely hopeful that this game will become a great learning tool for others.

For the body of our game, we wanted to have an alignment bar that would reflect the user’s political party through their choices in the conversations. To do this, we adjusted the position of a black bar by changing CSS with JavaScript, which involved tedious conversions between strings and integers. The second challenge was keeping the value of variable throughout multiple HTML pages. To do that, we used a JavaScript function called sessionStorage. At the end, we created a pop-up that showed the user where they fell on the spectrum by reading the position of the black bar.

"This perfectly simplifies our current political situation and presents content in a simplified manner!"
"4 stars" - DrZahn

Alia, Adrianna, and Hannah are three high school students who are currently expanding their horizons, and have had an amazing summer learning about the tech industry at Adobe in SJ. They dedicated a their final project to address a subject they are all passionate about: educating others. Currently, they decided to pursue a game about politics, since it would be useful in the upcoming election. Team Politricks is excited for the future of the game, as well as their future careers in tech.

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at Adobe (San Jose).