Politics

Gamifying Election 2016: Run, Jump and Punch to the White House

Catharsis by the keystroke

The Google Play marketplace is packed with politically themed games. (Screenshot)

It’s exhausting, incessantly trolling those with opposing political views across the social media sphere.  

Sometimes, even culture warriors need to take a little time off from humiliating pols hoping to survive a “Washington Journal” segment unscathed.  

Game developers are all about burning off that unbridled hostility virtually, conjuring up digital diversions that allow the frustrated masses to take matters into their own hands.  

With dozens (if not hundreds) of games to choose from, there’s bound to be a download that’ll help brighten your day.

Trump Punch

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

Pummel the presidential candidates/featured celebrities with an array of weapons (tomatoes, rotten fish, boxing gloves, nuclear bombs). Or show the media punching bags some love (showering them with hearts).  

Folks seem to be of two minds about this game.  

“I hate punching Trump, but punching Clinton and Sanders is oh-so-good! Maybe change the name to be more broad?” user “Update the game already” urged digital gatekeepers.  

Five-star supporter “Cleclair18” was so consumed by rage that intelligible conversation went out the window. “Donald Trump is the most words presidential candidate,” the term seeker fumed online.

Trump’s Wall – Build it Huuuge

Building on Trump’s pledge to wall off Mexico, this game focuses on stacking bricks to block invasive ducks from defecating on the Republican presidential nominee’s property.  

Many players seem baffled by what they’ve gotten themselves into.  

“I myself am a Trump supporter and I don’t know if this game is to make fun of him or not but I like the game” user “Senpaii,” who gave the game five stars, shared online.  

“You know what I’m just done with life,” user “Happy Cute Puppy” informed everyone.

Hillary Runs

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

This variation on endless runner games pledges to donate 50 percent of all proceeds to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s historic campaign.  

Fans seem to love it. “Bernie and Trump are pure evil and want to destroy America. Vote Hillary!!! Pro-equality!!!” user “Bjork1230” advised others.  

Haters, naturally, have a very different take on the product. “New DLC should be where you delete emails as fast as possible,” user “Yes it’s bad” proposed.

Avoid Hillary

A white-haired figure — some posit that it’s one-time challenger Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while others gleefully imagine that the mystery man is former President Bill Clinton — must dodge a hail of Hillary heads that rain down across the screen.  

Although rather basic, the game has apparently provided some with a spiritual experience.  

“This app saved me. I was sitting there playing avoid Hillary when I saw nyan burst through the wall to kill me. Hillary then flew out of the screen with that nice smile and pointed the elder wand at nyan cat and screamed avada kedavra. Then a burst of green light came out of the wand and nyan cat was dead,” user “Barretthalo,” referring to a once-popular meme , razzed political players.

Candidate Crunch

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

They may not be welcome at the upcoming presidential debates, but Urthworx (in collaboration with Rock the Vote) has no problem throwing Libertarian presidential nominee Gov. Gary Johnson and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein into its virtual arena.   

The third-party candidates are fair game in a virtual free-for-all featuring goofy outfits, falling babies and the head-to-head challenges for the truly hardcore.  

The little extras won high praise from one satisfied customer.  

"Lots of fun quizzes and interesting quotes from political figures! Also encourages young voters to get involved which is totally amazing!" gushed user "Caitlyn Alcorn."  

Contact Rojas at warrenrojas@rollcall.com and follow him on Twitter at @WARojas .

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