An interactive, text adventure game aimed at teaching teenagers about politics.
Alia A, Adrianna B, & Hannah L
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.