Grand Theft Redistricting: America
August 12, 2007
According to Chris Swain, director of the University of Southern California’s Electronic Arts Game Innovation lab, “Redistricting is a dark corner of our democracy, and if you reform redistricting you’d solve a lot of problems in America.”
In order for citizens to better understand just how gerrymandering, oops, sorry, redistricting has been used by politicians and political parties, Swain, here interviewed by Why Tuesday?’s Jacob Soboroff, came up with The Redistricting Game, a video game in which users map out the voting landscape—giving them a better understanding of what redistricting really is. “Redistricting is already a rules-based system and we’re good with rules-based systems, because we’re games designers,” explains Swain on the user-friendliness of this particular game. “So we said, let’s take this issue and express it as a game. Let people play with it themselves, and they’ll come to understand this complex issue, often thought of as a boring issue, which is actually quite interesting once you get in and play with it.” Maybe their next game could be something like, The Ballot-Counting Game, or The Voter Apathy Game.