Wifi haiku

Republican video games

It appears the trend of using video games as a form of political commentary has now spread as far as the Republican party. Recently, they’ve been releasing a series of pretty funny little games attacking Kerry. One of them is John Kerry: Tax Invaders, in which you use George Bush’s head to shoot a series of tax increases that come looming from the sky. (The graphics are incredibly bad, but, rather mindblowingly, the opening screen briefly samples the beeyoo sound effect of a missile being fired from the original Space Invaders.)

Rather more interesting is the game Kerry vs. Kerry. In it, you get two Kerry boxers to punch each other by pushing each’s button — one of which is entitled “flip”, and the other “flop”. When you hit one, the first Kerry will land a punch and the game will say something like “For Iraq War”; push the other button, and the other Kerry says “Against Iraq War”. Laffarific enough, but the cool part is that each punch — for or against the war, or whatever issue upon which Kerry flip-flopped — has a link: Click on it, and it’ll take you to a GOP page where they describe the specifics of Kerry’s seemingly-contrary positions. Now that is actually a kind of clever use of gaming as rhetoric.

(Thanks to Ian for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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