Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 18, 2014

Political Gamesmanship

If you like political trivia and the trappings of high-stakes casino action, then you are in for a treat.

San Francisco-based Alfred Tom has created and released a game that combines them both: “High Stakes Politics.”

It’s like “‘Angry Birds’ for political junkies and, ultimately, for voters looking to be more informed heading into the election,” Peter G. Mirijanian, who represents Tom, said in an email.

“’High Stakes Politics’ is the ‘gamification’ of political news: If gamers know nothing about politics and government, they will know more after they play the game,” Mirijanian continued.

“In order to do well at the game, they’re going to have to pay more attention to news and politics, just like good fantasy football players must spend time poring over player statistics and injury reports,” Mirijanian said.

The game asks questions, and players can bet on whether they answer correctly or not.

It covers a series of wonky topics, including the economy, facts about presidents and other related trivia.

There is even a question about the media and whether it is biased, somewhat of a hot topic as the political world parses coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates.

Depending on how a respondent answers, the program provides the following explanation:

“Surveys have repeatedly shown that there is liberal bias in the media. One notable exception is Fox News, which has a conservative bias,” the game explained below the question and answer.

But it did note C-SPAN had no bias.

“Q: Does C-SPAN have a political bias?

“A: No bias.

“C-SPAN is purely unedited footage, so there is no room for bias,” the game said.

Another section asks the gamer to match politicians to mistresses: John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe; Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky; Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur; Eliot Spitzer and Ashley Rae Maika DiPietro; and, finally, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.

Tom designed the game while on sabbatical from his advanced technology job at General Motors.

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