Voting in the state of Massachusetts, similarly to national voting, has always been a big issue. According to the state of Massachusetts the number of registered voters is 4,486,849 people compared to the 2,424,979 people who are not registered at all (Massachusetts Registered Voter Enrollment: 1948-2017). Statistically, that is about 30% of the population that has either chosen not to vote, or are unaware of the process of becoming a voter. Many people either show disinterest in voting saying that their vote doesn’t count or that they don’t have the time to go through the process. Meanwhile, the process for applying to vote and voting is as simple as filling out a few forms. It is not a difficult process and many people don’t understand that their votes actually have an impact on the final result of the ballot.
During Super Tuesday of last year Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in Massachusetts by just under 12,000 people (PD43 » 2016 President Democratic Primary). If the 1/3 of the population, that are currently unaligned, voted then the outcome might have been different. Maybe, or maybe not, it isn’t easy to see either way unless everyone votes. When a collective group of people don’t vote then we all suffer for their inaction. When people complain about Trump or make jokes about him, but they don’t take into account that not voting, or refusing to vote, helped the person they didn’t like get into power.
To approach the game, I am assuming that I will only be catering to the audience that has no interest in voting. I am excluding the ones that don’t know how the process works, because they are a different issue altogether.
The first idea is a extremely short simulation game. You have one action and that is to vote. The setting is purely fictional, here you have three parties that are deadlocked in votes. As the single person left voting you have one decision to make that affects the people around you. You can vote for any of the three parties, but depending on your decision the town around you will suffer from higher taxes, lower jobs, or significantly poorer living conditions. You experience the year after you voted and see the results on a month by month basis. Depending on who you voted for, certain people will talk with you more, while others will ignore you or curse under their breath at you. Other effects include the deterioration or restoration of certain places/monuments. It is all dependent on your first and only choice in the game. The rest is purely a walk through of the results. After you make your decision the game plays itself.
The second idea is a tablet game where multiple people are allowed to vote on a fictional ballot. The people choose what they want from the city, what can currently be improved, what needs to be removed/remodeled, and several other decisions. When people are finished filling out the survey~esque game a picture of a previous real world candidate with similar aspirations will appear on screen. The screen then changes to what they were running for, when they were attempting it, the state where they were running, a short description of their campaign, and the result of their attempts. The game will show the players how many “missed opportunities” have happened while they made the decision not to vote.
The third idea is a short, first person VR simulation game that shows people the process of signing up to be a voter. The game starts with them sitting at a table around 10:00 pm at night opening up their mail after a long day of work. One of the letters they receive is a reminder to sign up for the incoming election. Thy player is given the option of going to sleep, saving the paper until the end of looking through the mail, or filling it out immediately. The next day, the player wakes up and they look at the table with the paper still on there. Depending on the choice they made the previous night the paper is either blank, halfway done, or ready to be shipped. Then the player decides whether or not they want to fill the form out, finish filling out the information, ignore sending it at all, or send it in before going to work. What ever choice the player makes, there is a time skip that brings the player a month into the future. Depending on their decision, they will either make excuses about not being able to vote because of the process, decide not to vote because it is too “out of the way”, or they decide to be first in line to vote. The different outcomes are really dependent on the player’s choices an it will be a fictional representation of the process most people go through when they are given the opportunity to be a voter, or pass the offer to have a voice in the voting process.
“Massachusetts Registered Voter Enrollment: 1948–2017.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
“PD43 » 2016 President Democratic Primary.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.