New Online Game To Make Kids That Much More Cynical About The Political Process

from the gerrymandering-is-fun,-kids! dept

So, it's no surprise that we tend not to think too highly of almost anything having to do with politics around here, but yet we're still optimists at heart. That's why we thought it was somewhat cool last year to hear about an attempt at setting up a fantasy politics offering that would get people more interested in political issues by making it a bit more like fantasy sports, with an element of competition. However, perhaps that idea has been taken a bit too far. The Washington Post lets us know about a new online flash game that is designed to teach people about the issue of Congressional redistricting (or gerrymandering). It's called the Redistricting Game, and if you ever wanted your kids to become cynical and disillusioned with the political process at a young age, let them play this game. Next up, who will create the game about lobbyist influences? Or how about the game over who can come up with the most bills that sound like they do something great, but actually tend to make things worse?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 7:43am

    Sure...

    Teach the kiddies about a corrupt system so that the government can either:

    1. Find the kids that will take this game as a way to learn about and ultimately fight against the corrupt system in order to "deal with them."

    2. Find the kids that will blindly agree with the system and nuture them into future politicians.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    The Truth Beacon, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 8:05am

    The only reason redistricting is an issue...

    Is because here in CA, those on the left don't want to lose their monopoly on the vote. I am sure there are states where it is the reverse, but how can undoing either side's monopoly possibly be a bad thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Neurothustra, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 8:07am

    Median demographic for gamers is 31

    so why then, if a game made by college students about the political process, is the assumption so quickly turned to children as the target audience? Furthermore, don't blame the game-makers for basing a game on political corruption that they actually provide college courses for (and it's not the only one), blame the broken system that the game clearly attempts to highlight.

    Lastly, so what if children because cynical about American Politics. Sooner or later, it's going to happen anyway...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Yeah, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 8:12am

    NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep up with the whole process of teaching kids that bypassing Education and Cheating their way around normal Processes is right...See what happens to Society. Actually you can see it now. People cutting in line to get ahead, people driving crazy thinking they will get ahead of you and then just cause more traffic jams because you have to slam on your breaks to avoid hitting them, people cheating on tests in classrooms in Universities by using Cell phones and PDA's. Yeah.. might as well keep teaching people that there is no need to learn things the correct way.

    Oh well. I hate how corrupt Politics has become. Don't trust 100% what you hear from your Politicians(republican or democrat, or what ever you believe in).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Jezsik, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Astonishing ...

    ... how realistic games are getting these days!

    I remember when the voters got to choose the politicians rather than the politicians choosing the voters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Witty Nickname, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 8:35am

    Crystal Ball

    Larry Saboto's Crystal Ball newsletter had an interesting article about redistricting not delivering what it is thought to. The idea is you take your party's strongest districts in the state and dilute it to the point where you barely win instead of having a landslide. That works well for about 2 years, maybe up to 6, but then if there is a slight change in demographics, or a landslide for the other party, your old 'safe district' is gone, and you loose all of your diluted districts. Look at Tom DeLay's TX-22 for a case study, there were other issues there too, but had it not been for redistricting many argue Sekula-Gibbs would have won in a 'safe' contest even against Lampson.

    Here is the article http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/article.php?id=DNW2007031501

    (For those of you who don't know, Larry Saboto is a big political thinker, he called the 2006 election more accuratly than anyone else in the media - he is also head of the Poly Sci dept at U of Virginia)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Re: NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The people driving crazy probably will get ahead of you, and maybe you will learn the appropriate amount of space to leave in front of your car in heavy traffic. And I daresay theyre better drivers than you and your brake-hitting is overreaction and an unnecessary effort to restore your flawed amount of in-front buffer which is just going to be occupied by someone else with a different and likely more correct sense of responsibilities in heavy traffic than yours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Stephen Paulger, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 9:59am

    Actually...

    If you played the game through on all the levels it would show you how redistricting reform works to prevent gerrymandering. So you could either con yourself into believing that gerrymandering doesn't happen or you can choose to understand what it is, how it can be stopped and why that is important, which I believe is the purpose of the game.

    If your aim was to make kids cynical about politics all you need to do is let them support a winning election candidate :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Myself, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 10:02am

    If kids can remember how many manna points a Psion

    Ha! I've been talking about this for years. Can you imagine what a Harry Reid rookie card would be worth right now?

    I just want to see the stats on the back of each card. Voting records on basic categories (civil rights, education, defense, etc) and major positions held...

    Hey! You landed on my special interest! And I have 5 lobbyists in play, so pay five times the base vote rate to preserve your standing. *rubs hands together* Keep in mind there are still two scandal cards in the deck, so it's still anyone's game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 10:03am

    Re: Median demographic for gamers is 31

    Do you have a source for that statistic?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Matt, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 10:30am

    Re: The only reason redistricting is an issue...

    What? Redistricting is almost always used by the side in power to KEEP their power. Are you saying that redistricting is generally used to take power away from the incumbent party? That's absurd.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    tom, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So your that person I am going to run off the road one day. Learn to drive or some crazy fool is going to road rage your ass one day. I hope.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Good way to kill an hour

    And I learned something too! Thanks Techdirt!

    *Insert any cheesy catchphrase here, eg "And knowing is half the battle" or "The more you know"*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 11:24am

    and if you ever wanted your kids to become cynical and disillusioned with the political process at a young age, let them play this game.

    How about just aware of the realities?

    Perhaps the politicians are the ones playing these games... being cynical in politics I would consider a good thing, as the system is disillusioned as it is. Heck, maybe they should add bribes, kickbacks, and political 'favors' to push up certain stock prices as well - or perhaps re-zoning of area to make them into a getto or into an 'upscale' neighborhood, depending on the goal at hand...

    Hehe - I have to agree with Jezsik.. "I remember when the voters got to choose the politicians rather than the politicians choosing the voters."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Norman619, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Re: Astonishing ...

    Not really. Things just more obvious now. Back in the day not so much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    duh, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 7:33pm

    If anybody actually played the game, they would realize that the whole thing is meant as an educational tool and that the ultimate goal was for people to realize that reform is necessary. It even asks you after each level if you would be more likely to support reform after playing the game.

    duh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Joebob, Jun 14th, 2007 @ 6:56am

    I agree. In the last level, you have to change the districts to have population equality while ignoring racial composition or partisan concentration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    max, Jun 18th, 2007 @ 4:05pm

    47646

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This