Don't Let US Election Games Tell You How to Vote

As the 2016 US election season comes to a close, it shouldn't be all fun and games anymore.

It's the most wonderful time of the year. 

No, I don't mean Christmas, unfortunately. It's that time in the United States that occurs every four years: Presidential election season. (It's on Tuesday, November 8, in case you were wondering.)

It's that magical time when people yell their opinions over each other from across the room.

And as the season comes to a close, so will the inundation of US-election-themed video, web, and mobile app games. Finally, writers like me won't feel compelled to write about any game with an inkling of being politically-themed just to garner a few measly election-keyword views.

I've written about a few of the more popular election games in my brief time at GameSkinny. From a mobile puzzle game called Merica Match to a retro game adaptation called Presidential Blitz, these games -- although diverse in visual qualities -- carry the same premise as every other election game: to pick the candidate who will win control over the free world and to pretend for a few minutes that you have even a semblance of control over who will run our nation.

It's obvious that the developers who put out these games hope to gain a larger fan base by creating, fun (and sometimes innovative) but highly redundant material. At least for those having to follow the election, this seems to be the case. 

I'm sure that poking fun at the States' political system is a major reason developers put games like these out, and this author isn't knocking the entrepreneurial spirit of those developers. However, I think it's safe to assume that now it's time for a moratorium on the election games for the following reasons.

1. It's the Middle of September

The subheading says it all. Currently, September is more than halfway done. Election day is seven weeks away. But election games are still being peddled out to the public like they're going out of style. They, in fact, are.

A game called Jrump (very subtle by the way) launched its trailer just four days ago. 

The mobile app, without going into too much detail, shows that sometime in 2017, the US will be in chaos, and it's all thanks to President Jrump. The fact that this game came out this week and bears most of the characteristic traits of a country under a Donald-Trump-like leader, only contributes to the white noise that the Internet spits out during election season.  

2. Americans Don't Need Anymore Reasons to be Confused

American citizens and residents are already foggy on who is actually running for President. The two big names in the race are a loud-mouth man and a double-talking woman. A third name belonging to a elderly Socialist almost made it into the gaming world, but not quite.

A game called Political Animals did its best to shine a light on the "issues" surrounding the election in its own fun way. This game was an election simulation replacing pesky human politicians with adorable animals. But still, games like this one, and Merica Match, claim they're a way for people to predict the outcome of the election.

This helps no one. 

People don't need to be distracted by an election simulation to make them feel like they are contributing to the situation. People, instead, should be educating themselves on the real issues that affect them and their community by first educating themselves on who is actually running for President.

3. Games That Contribute To Bipartisanship Help No One

As stated above, there are generally two big names that have stood out during this election season. I don't even feel like typing them because it seems redundant to describe them.

For the purpose of this article, there is no greater evidence of this inherent bipartisanship than election video games. These games, for the most part, portray two omnipotent, central candidates. There have been a few games that include a couple of lesser known names in the mix, but not to the extent of creating an accurate picture for the public.

There are more than two candidates running for President of the United States. It seems to this author that for developers, creating games that portray those less popular candidates will not make money.  And, since they rarely get air time, I'll tell you who the other two people are: Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein for the Green Party. 

People may say that a vote cast for Johnson or Stein is wasted.

These people are wrong.

The only wasted votes are those that are not used. In the US, we supposedly live in a nation with an abundance of free choices. Whether you vote Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or any other party, vote with your brain. Don't be distracted by loud opinions or flashy games; educate yourself and then cast your vote on November 8 for someone you believe in. 

Published Sep. 20th 2016
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