If the key demographic in the 2012 election proves to be self-identified independents, non-college educated whites or the residents of Virginia, Barack Obama has no more than an even chance of winning re-election. But if somehow the election is decided by people who spend their time playing browser games, we can call this thing right now…
President Obama is winning the popular vote in a gaming face-off with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A company called Gaming Wonderland recently released a Team Obama and Team Romney version of its free online political game, Running for President.
In order to win the virtual presidential race, the cartoon-version politicians have to snag as many votes as possible on the campaign trail as they (literally) run toward the White House. They also must avoid scandal-seeking paparazzi, leap over negative campaign ads and steer clear of slippery political issues.
As of this morning, the Obama version of the scrolling platformer had three times as many plays as its sister game – 32,300 for Obama to 10,400 for Romney.
Unfortunately, the game isn't very realistic. I expected the Obama variant to be a first-person shooter or at least offer gamers an opportunity to launch drone strikes on unsuspecting foreigners. For Romney, an appropriate browser game would be a modified online version of Monopoly, where the wealthiest player doesn't have to pay taxes, only the poorest participant goes to jail and the bank automatically wins the game whenever it wants. Though like the original, everyone still leaves bored and unsatisfied.
If video game designers don't get their act together, the Ron Paul-inspired Road to REVOLution will be this year's only interesting political game development, since it will be the one game where collecting gold coins actually makes sense.
Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Internet, Mitt Romney, Video Games