howard dean for america
artist(s): Gonzalo Frasca/Ian Bogost/Persuasive Games
country of origin: USA/Uruguay (2003)
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Produced for Dean's 2004 US Iowa pre-caucus campaign, this game was designed to teach grassroots campaign skills to his supporters. Research suggested that it did succeed at improving players' understanding of campaign techniques for building local support. Although the game features no policy issues, it is credited with introducing video games as a component of US political campaigning.
US Presidential pre-candidate Howard Dean changed the rules on how to make politics accessible by stressing the use of new media. This is the first officially commissioned videogame for a US Presidential campaign. By design, it aimed to illustrate how people could collaborate (rather than stressing Dean's political ideas). Dean failed on his bid, but he set a trend: during 2004 both Republicans and Democrats created videogames as part of their political tools.