Stardock announced that it will release its latest election year strategy simulation game, Political Machine 2012, this summer. The game will let you pick from various candidates including President Barack Obama, Republican candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich, or a politician that you create from scratch. The game can be played in a one-on-one election year match up against the game's AI or against a human opponent via the Internet.
In a new video featuring Irrational's Ken Levine the company reveals one of the bosses that players will face off against in BioShock Infinite: America’s first president. Players will have to fight a Gatling-gun wielding robotic George Washington, dubbed a "heavy hitter" by Levine. The Washington automaton is the creation of Columbia's ruling faction, the Founders, and was originally designed as a tour guide to show the highlights and greatness of the floating city.
GoNintendo points out a mildly entertaining "fan-made" video (called Super MariObama 2) featuring President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden taking on the roles of Mario and Luigi as they do all sorts of things with money. The video was actually made by a political group called For America, who are obviously not Democrats.
Newsmax has some rather slanted coverage of the Tea Party Zombies Must Die Flash-game we covered earlier, but what's noteworthy about the report is that it offers some comments from Glen Beck, who took issue with the game on his syndicated radio program this evening. On the show he said the following - according to Newsmax:
You think? A New York Magazine article chronicles the strong dislike conservative bloggers have for a Flash game called "Tea Party Zombies Must Die." Bloggers took notice of the game created by company StarvingEyes last night and went ballistic.
With the British Parliament on summer holiday, many political junkies in the UK are feeling a void at 12 o'clock on Wednesday when it is supposed to be time for "Prime Minister’s Questions." Luckily, Pixel Politics has you covered with a new Flash game called PRIME MINISTER’S QUESTIONS: THE GAME. You play as the prime minister in this satirical, retro style game as he faces his weekly grilling from Her Majesty’s Opposition.
Never one to shy away from an open microphone, 38 Studios head Curt Schilling recently outlined an extremely confident vision for his company in Rhode Island at a Providence Business News’ Business Excellence Awards event.
Schilling, recipient of a $75 million loan from the state as a lure to move his company from Massachusetts to the Ocean State, offered, “My word on this: four to five to six years from now, we’re going to be looking back on this, and I know that 38 Studios will be one of the companies that will push and incentivize the Providence business community to become a national and global force.”
During the run up to yesterday’s mid-term election, we profiled a few politicians that used web-based games or videogame-related images in order to either slam their opponent, or drum up interest in their own campaign. In some cases the games were even created by third parties not affiliated with either side in a race. Let’s check-in and see how these candidates did in yesterday’s elections.
Brazilian presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff is the featured character in a Super Mario Bros.-themed Flash game in which her opponent also makes an appearance (as a zombie).
The game was created by Brazilian software company Give Me Five and has Rousseff gathering red stars (the symbol of her Worker’s Party) and ballot boxes, while trying to avoid the lurching caricature of Social Democratic Party candidate José Serra. Toucans also appear sporadically throughout the game, which, as the Buenos Aires Herald notes, are the symbol of Serra’s party.
As none of the three presidential candidates (the third was Green Party candidate Marina Silva) grabbed more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election between Rousseff and Serra will take place on October 31.
New Mexico's gubernatorial candidates (Susana Martinez - R, Diane Denish - D) are duking it out on the air, in the newspapers, and now in a new Flash video game. But unlike the endless series of attack ads, the fist meets the face in this simple boxing game. The game is called New Mexico KnockOut, created by former Albuquerque native Max Barnett - now residing in Washington D.C.
Barnett says that opinions on the game vary; some think the game is funny, while others see it as "ill-willed." Barnett adds that there is no built-in advantage for either candidate.
You can play it here.
According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Martinez is ahead by 8 points. A recent Rasmussen Reports poll has Martinez ahead by 9 points.
World Wrestling Entertainment is tired of getting bad press at the hands of politicians in Connecticut. The company pointed out in a press release today that both Democrats and Republicans liked the organization just fine during the 2008 presidential election campaign and during its long-running SmackDown the Vote campaigns. In 2008 when the candidates Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Clinton wanted to court voters via the Monday Night RAW show no one had a problem with the WWE’s image. Now that its former CEO Linda McMahon, is running for political office (the Senate seat vacated by Chris Dodd), the WWE is some kind of evil empire.
The company provided quotes from 2008:
The Mafia Wars blog gives past presidents more cameos. Masks for President Barack Obama ("Rock Mask"), former President George W. Bush ("Dubya Mask"), and former President Bill Clinton ("Bubba Mask") are being made available as special items for the upcoming "bank heist weekend" event.
Whoever wrote the post for the blog describes these masks in a disparaging way:
"To honor all the legendary master robbers who've worn executive masks (not to mention midterm elections are just around the corner), you'll have 5 days to collect 3 executive masks - Bubba, Dubya, and Rock."
In a recent Fox News piece on the hidden political characters in NBA Jam, co-host Jenna Lee (Thanks Joystiq) asked EA Sports head Peter Moore if giving President Obama’s character special abilities in the game was “bi-partisan,” an ironic question perhaps, given the network that the question was posed on.
Moore remained nonplussed, answering, “We try and be non-partisan in what we do.” He continued, “But at the same time, the President, who as you know is a pretty good hoops player himself… ah, we try to represent his skills there.”
While President Obama pops up in championship celebrations in NBA 2K11 and Madden NFL 11, he’s joined by a whole slew of friends and foes alike in the just-released NBA Jam.
The series has a history of hidden characters and this new Wii entry is no different, as an ESPN story discloses that whole teams of Democrats and republicans are unlockable in the game.
On the Democrat side, gamers can unlock Obama, Joe Biden, Al Gore and Bill and Hillary Clinton, while the Republican side is represented by George W. Bush, Sara Palin, John McCain and Dick Cheney.
The game’s Creative Director Troy Smith, discussed the appearance of politicians in the game:
Putting aside garbage-scented political flyers, at least for the time being, New York Republican Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has invoked a world-famous videogame character for his latest attack on Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo.
The latest flyer features Cuomo’s face on a caricature of Mario under the headline “Andrew Has Been Playing the Albany Game for 30 Years.”
Another recent flyer pictured Cuomo in the shower, with the text “Clean up Albany? Start with Cuomo.”
Just last month Paladino spokesman Mike Caputo promised, “We’re going to continue beating on Andrew Cuomo until he comes out and answers questions and agrees to a series of debates.”
For more on Paladino be sure to check out this Gawker tag, which assembles all of the site’s gleeful coverage of the candidate’s missteps to-date.
Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan (D) has turned to a Pac-Man themed videogame in order to attack his Republican opponent in the race, Ed Martin.
“Hackman” replaces the yellow videogame star with Martin’s head, and is part of an attempt by Carnahan to allude to a time three years ago when Martin was Chief of Staff to then Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and the pair underwent a “Memogate” scandal. Martin later resigned.
The game is introduced with the statement, "Ed Martin is Hackman,” while a sub header states, “He Plays Political Games. Missouri Families Lose.” In the game, Martin (Pac-Man) is chased by gavels, while power ups are represented by various icons relating to deleted emails, “costly lawsuits,” and “shady finances.” Scoring is tabulated as “Tax Dollars Wasted.”
An online game featuring Toronto’s five mayoral candidates was designed to raise awareness of the race while perhaps providing a very informal look into who might win the October 25th election.
Mayor Munch, created by the OneStop Media Group is based on Pac-Man, and has players choose one of the five candidates— Rob Ford, Rocco Rossi, Sarah Thomson, Joe Pantalone, Giorgio Mammoliti or George Smitherman—to play as.
Results show how much each candidate was chosen, figures that might presumably correlate to their outcome in the election. As of today, Rossi was leading, having been selected as the on-screen avatar of choice 29% of the time, a number that directly contrasts figures showing Ford with a huge 24-point lead.
Toronto’s mayoral candidates may be slugging it out in the public for votes, but a Flash game has them gobbling up yellow votes Pac-Man style. The game is called Mayor Munch and features candidates Joe Pantalone, incumbent Rob Ford, Sarah Thomson, Rocco Rossi, and George Smitherman.
The game was launched Wednesday by Toronto-based One Stop Media Group. The company’s president and CEO, Michael Girgis, says they created the game to send a serious message to voters: "Initially we were trying to appeal to a demographic that hasn’t been voting,” Girgis said.
While some of the candidates thought the game was funny (one admitted to playing it bit), most were not amused. Sarah Thomson's avatar was the most popular on the site for a while this week, which prompted her to issue a silly press release:
"This is war. We are turning the gears of war and we will win! There is a resident evil at city hall, you don’t need a goldeneye to see it,” the release said. In a phone interview with The Star, Thomson admitted that she had played the game, joking that it was getting her ready for the vote in October.
The European Service Network (ESN), operating under a budget of 275,000 Euros (approximately $349,000 U.S.) from the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Communication, is developing an online role-playing game—and social networking forum—that it hopes will capture “the essence of European Parliament.”
Named Citzalia, the online experience was compared to Second Life and will have users create an avatar before being able to, “navigate around a virtual recreation of the actual Parliament, to create content, and to involve themselves in virtual law-making.”
A Seaside Heights boardwalk game that allowed patrons to bean a questionable likeness of President Barack Obama has replaced him with a pair of other polarizing political types.
A Star Ledger story reports that models of George W Bush and Hillary Clinton have taken over for Obama, in a move that the game’s operator said was meant to show that “we’re not anti-Democrat or anti-Republican.”
Secret Service agents also reportedly scouted out the game in order to see if game operators were egging on players to bean the President or “for patrons who expressed a desire to hurt the president.” No incidents of either type were reported.
The notoriety of the attraction has also apparently not brought in much new business either as “most tourists point to the game stand in recognition, but then keep on walking without playing.”
The California Labor Federation is obviously not backing California Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R).
An Albuquerque, New Mexico man purchased a laptop for $100 at a garage sale and, after booting it up, was surprised to find an unpublished, underground political game from the 1990s, which took jabs at then Governor Gary Johnson.
The side-scrolling game, which depicts Governor Johnson as a “floating head of death,” was found on a PC purchased by New Mexico resident Alex Ortega. Local ABC affiliate KOAT tracked down the as-of-yet-unnamed creator of the game, who was so angered by government leaders in the 1990s that he created two video games, and even drafted a friend to drop copies of the games in the capitol mailboxes of certain lawmakers.
The laptop seemed to have once belonged to ex-New Mexico State Senator Manny Aragon, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to “three felony counts of conspiracy and mail fraud for his role in a scheme in which he and four others allegedly bilked the state out of $4.2 million during the construction of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse,” and is in the midst of serving a 67-month sentence.
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:
UK PM Gordon Brown wishes he could go back in time and turn his mic off this morning, as the media continues to remind him that saying things about little old pensioners during a tough election year is probably not a good idea. To add to his shame over the remarks is an update to the Flash-based game Downing Street Fighter. The game now offers a "Gillian Duffy Bonus Round" where Mr. Brown or Mrs. Duffy take their awkwardness to the street in a best of three contest using fist, feet and head to beat down the opponent.
Naturally, you can also use any one of the 3 candidates including PM Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg or David Cameron.
In light of the looming UK elections, Theory Spark has introduced its latest election simulator, Prime Minister Forever – UK 2010.
The downloadable PC game allows users to play as one of 16 parties, including Labour, Conservative, Lib-Dem, Green, UKIP, BNP, SNP, Plaid Cymru, UUP, DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance, Respect, Veritas, or Independent, and also includes a Candidate Editor that lets players create their own detailed entrant.
Prime Minister Forever – UK 2010 supports two to sixteen players and promises, “realistic electorate modeling techniques and the ability to plan complex strategies.”
Priced at £14.95 ($19.95), the game is also available at a discount for those who already own Prime Minister Forever - UK 2005.
Over at 1UP, Jeremy Parish recounts some of the most incompetent presidents found in video games.
We think, however, that Jeremy is being a bit rough on his digital chief execs when he rates them "way less inspiring" than even the lately-exited President Bush. Dubya's galactic level of uninspiring-ness far surpassed anything conjured up by a mere game designer.
That said, Jeremy's choices are:
GP: Can you think of any others?