Bump: Getting on the Ballot in NYC

    by Amanda Hickman
    July 8, 2009

    Gotham Gazette released our fourth game in our Knight-funded game series this week. Bump, which revisits the maze theme from our Budget Maze sends players through a whole new labyrinth: ballot access. If you can’t imagine how ballot access is even remotely interesting, I suggest playing the game!

    Seriously: we knew we wanted to do two things: to build a game that would stay relevant through the New York City campaign season and to find a topic that would fit nicely into the existing code base for one of our earlier games. Ballot access is an important and relatively obtuse issue in New York City that definitely lent itself to the quiz-y nature of the budget maze game, and when candidates file their nominating petitions later this month, there will be a lot of bumping activity, as candidates are forced off the ballot for failing to number the pages on their nominating petitions.

    This new game reflects a lot of the lessons we learned from our first maze game. First, we really toned down the “maze” end of things after too many people complained that it was too challenging. Second, we made it a whole lot harder to loose after our high school interns complained that they kept losing (and getting kicked out of the game) because they actually don’t know all the answers off the tops of their youthful heads. Since the point of our games is to engage people in civics and civic participation, penalizing players who don’t know the system inside and out would seem to defeat the point.


    We hope you’ll enjoy the game!

    Tagged: ballot access games gotham gazette new york city news game

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