An article on The Game Reviews.com notes that while videogames have emerged into a “significant cultural force,” only a handful of games have been made in order to communicate political ideas.
Author Andy Johnson outlines a few games that attempted such incorporation, like America’s Army, Full Spectrum Warrior and religious games like Left Behind: Eternal Forces and The Bible Game, before describing a few games that feature a pure political bent, like the Bushgame and September 12th.
While politicians have been quick to latch on to social media tools to spread their message, Johnson says that it would be difficult for elected officials to latch on to videogames because their interactive nature breeds “unpredictability.” He continued:
Party-political communication and PR is a veritable minefield, and adding a new dimension to the process - especially one as complex and interactive as gaming - probably presents too many risks and uncertainties to politicians for us to be able to expect any party-political games for the foreseeable future.
The author thinks that games could help with one particular area of politics—policy-making:
It is conceivable that a game could be designed which could help a political party better understand the policy orientations of voters, allowing them to more accurately target their campaigns and manifestos. Such a game could act as a kind of high-concept playable survey, teasing out the policy preferences of its players and communicating them via the internet to the politicians.
As the videogame generation continues to age, Johnson believes that the “interactivity, dynamism and verve” of videogames will ensure that the genre begins to have more of an impact on political issues.