President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney slug it out, mano a mano, in the new iPad game "Vote!!!," developed by the creators of "Infinity Blade" in partnership with Rock The Vote.
"Vote!!!" was developed by ChAIR entertainment, a mobile-gaming partner of Epic Games, the privately held North Carolina-based videogame studio best known for making ultra-violent shooters like "Gears of War" and "Bulletstorm." The game features in-app voter registration materials to encourage real-world civic engagement alongside the virtual fisticuffs.
Speaking to the gaming website Polygon, ChAIR's creative director said that "Vote!!!" was not intended to be "a political game," but rather an exercise in sheer silliness: "Our goal was to keep it fun and light."
To complement this bipartisanship, he made sure that competition in the game was based solely on skill and neither Romney nor Obama had any innate strengths or weaknesses compared to the other. "We didn't want there to be any attempt at parity (with real world politics)," he said. "We wanted to be 100 percent neutral."
"However," he added, "I do feel it's important to be aware of what's going on in our country and it is important to vote."
Similar to Comedy Central's Indecision Game released earlier this summer, "Vote!!!" invites its players to marvel at the eccentricities of American politics more than anything else. And maybe, just maybe, step into the real world game of politics afterwards.
ChAIR itself redefined tablet gaming with its 2010 title "Infinity Blade" -- a game that proved to many that mobile and "casual" games could be as engaging and artistically innovative as their more expensive and polished console and desktop counterparts. "Vote!!!" uses the same basic mechanics as "Infinity Blade"-players alternate between attacking and parrying to avoid Romney or Obama's incoming blows (depending on one's player affiliation). Except instead of telling players to "attack" and "block," "Vote!!!" instead lights up with commands like "debate now!" to instigate a counter-attack.