The Underbelly: Swing Voter Go!

The Underbelly is a segment in which I look at games from the seedy, unknown underbelly of the indy games community and make sure they get the press they deserve for good or ill.

Election season is here!

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME IN FOUR YEAAAAAAAAAAAARS!

False: it is not. It’s the period in America when friends and neighbors drop all pretense of being civil and courteous to one another and, instead, call each other idiots for wanting the exact same thing and having no idea how to get it. Let’s make a game of it!

Okay, fuck you. Can we at least put some effort into this?

swing-voter-no

Fair enough. Let’s get this over with then.

Swing Voter Go was conceived by Jane McGonigal, who makes all those augmented reality games you’ve never played, and aborted in its third trimester by MoveOn.org, a Lutheran preacher speaking to a choir of angels on the day that Jesus came back.

That’s why it’s no surprise that this “game” (quotations added for emphasis. Though, were there any intellectual honesty at play here, I wouldn’t have had to add them myself) drops all pretense of bipartisanship and lets you know exactly what you should be thinking right from the start:

That’s right, if you agree with Trump’s particular brand of hate-mongering demagoguery, get your own fucking game! This one’s just for the liberals! Which is strange because I mostly identify my more liberal minded friends with the sort of people that HATE the bullshit that this game is trying to pull. Let’s have a look:

Wow, they went all-in with the Pokemon Go stuff, huh? I mean, balls tossed? The people who created this game are the sort of people who allowed Jay Leno to stay on the air for 14 years while the rest of America suffered. They’re the sort of people who sincerely wonder why Carrot Top isn’t around anymore. They’re the sort of people that necessitate the creation of a sarcasm font because their oxygen deprived brains are incapable of independently processing meaning and intent. They’re the Schrödinger’s cat of humor: they exist in two binary comedy stakes until we witness their joke for ourselves and realize (surprise!) they were ALWAYS UNFUNNY!

If you can’t follow the phrase “balls tossed” with AT LEAST a joke about the straight half of the San Quinten prison population then you should think up another sentence! This isn’t fucking rocket science, commit to the bit!

I don’t know what I’m actually expecting though because these are the people that took a terrible joke from Hillary Clinton that no one liked to begin with and turned it into a game that no one untouched by the horror of massive head trauma would want to play.

How does it work, Wes?

There are only two kinds of swing master: a sixth grader showing off on a preschool playground and a couple unwilling to admit that the relationship works but the sex was always horrible. This game will appeal to neither so we’re off to a bad start.

A swing stop is essentially just a list of the people you know on Facebook who live in that state. Who cares if they’re undecided or not? What could possibly go wrong when asking a group of people one step removed from strangers about their choice to fill the most powerful political seat in the world?

Oh, Swing Voter Go is aware of the contentiousness of a political dialogue though, don’t worry.

Pro tip: only sexual predators and arms manufacturers put “safe” in quotation marks.

These motherfuckers actually believe they’ve found a way to help diffuse the vitriol that exists at the magnetic poles of our political landscape. How do they intend to accomplish what no comedian, news anchor, or freshman poli-sci major has before? Behold their big, swingin’ gorilla balls!

Yeah, they’re just a bunch of fuckin’ memes with some condescending text about your political philosophy on the flip side! And not even good ones, not even the 1% of memes that manage to defy statistical probability and actually get a semi-intelligent person to crack a smile. This is their secret weapon. This is what’s supposed to get people talking openly, honestly, and without the desire to hate-fuck each other’s skulls over the collective decision popularly considered to be THE MOST CRUCIAL in our democracy. Let’s have a look at some more of these, yeah?

Because nothing strengthens friendships like holding each other personally accountable for a right that no one is legally obligating you to exercise. It’s the exact same way all couples successfully get their partners to diet! It literally can’t fail!

I hope their children are forced to explain this at a trial in Nuremberg someday.

And McDonalds always was and still is food, that doesn’t mean it’s maintained the same level of quality for over sixty years. Plus, Clinton was VERIFIABLY a republican at one point in her early life. SEE?! DO YOU SEE WHAT YOUR BULLSHIT IS ALREADY DOING TO ME! I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS! I DON’T!

No word, in any language, has been invented that can be used to apologize for sending this to someone.

FUCK!

YOU!

This is what their safe zone looks like?! Actively contacting your republican friends who are considering voting for Trump and attempting to talk them out of that choice? Are you actually, factually out of your fucking minds?! Have you watched Trump’s rallies? Have you heard those audiences turn on a dime like a gang of well-trained attack dogs whenever he snaps his cocktail weenie fingers? In what universe is this supposed to end in anything less than a shattered friendship and anything more likely than a string of indictments for public lynching?

I want to be very clear now about what this thing is asking of you because I don’t know that I’ve adequately painted the full picture here: these assholes want you to use your Facebook friends list as a tool that will allow you to target and contact undecided and, in some cases, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN voters and convince them to vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th under the auspices of an augmented reality game where the fun and challenge lies in arguing against a near stranger’s confirmation bias.

And yes, it’s still more fun than Dark Souls.

Wesley Scott

Puppet Master at Ludonarrative Assonance
Wesley Scott is a writer and actor living on the North side of Chicago in a tiny studio apartment and spending his days playing video games, reading comic books, watching television and occasionally going to his day job when he needs a little cash. He is everything conservatives fear when they talk about the problems with a welfare state and he is everything liberals fear when they timidly advocate for sex positive education.