Election years are fun times to be a comedy fan. Saturday Night Live typically brings out the big guns in the months leading up to November, movies often find funny ways to address political proceedings, and over at Comedy Central, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s respective shows tend to go into hyperdrive. All of these outlets allow viewers to play Monday Morning Analyst for each debate and stump speech, and have a laugh at the same time. Now, a new mobile game from Comedy Central asks viewers to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, even though the app is free.
The Daily Show’s election coverage often comes in segments called "Indecision 2012," but Indecision is also the name of Comedy Central’s digital hub for all things political and funny. This week, Indecision spawned a new game created in tandem with 2KPlay, wherein users face off against each other, trying to get "elected" by answering trivia questions. The twist is that each player represents a political party (Democratic, Republican, or Independent), thereby rendering each game a referendum on which party is smarter.
"We worked closely with 2K on the content so that the actual questions, the voice of it, really reflects Comedy Central’s Indecision," says Mary Phillips-Sandy, editorial producer on the site. "That was something we all agreed would be important. Fans of Comedy Central’s political comedy will find that it’s a really familiar experience that feels like us."
The heart of the game is a series of political trivia questions, which are not just based on current events, but American politics over time. Gamers select their political affiliation and dress their avatar in a range of party-inspired costumes (e.g. "'I See Russia’ specs" and "O-Bomber" jackets) using the game’s currency, "Greenbacks." Players can then go head-to-head with either Facebook friends or total strangers, answering funny questions to win states on the road to the election. There’s a leaderboard ("Election Headquarters") keeping track of the results in real time, and players can boost themselves by turning to political aides for help, running a smear campaign, or demanding a recount. Just like real life.
This game is not the first app Indecision has rolled out this year, though. The Election Companion app launched in March, with exclusive daily content, and access to a blog where users can have a synchronous co-viewing experience with the Indecision team during live-blogged shows like Meet the Press and the impending presidential debates. While this app will keep users up to date, the game will keep them on their toes about the political past.
"It was kind of a walk down political memory lane going back through these questions that 2KPlay was bringing in, and bringing up ideas and sort of great moments from American political history," says Phillips-Sandy. "The thing that’s really cool about this game is it really rewards people who are as excited and into politics as we are."
Test your political trivia prowess with some questions from the game in the slideshow above.