WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican campaign strategists are taking political gamesmanship quite literally – releasing an online game that involves stomping out Democratic foes while attracting a cadre of GOP recruits.
Dubbed “Mission Majority,” the video game is sponsored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“Mission Majority” stars a diminutive cartoon elephant named Giopi, presumably a distant cousin of the iconic Mario who pioneered the computer game form in the 1980s and 1990s.
Adorned in red, white and blue, Giopi says he is here “to show you how we can win back the Senate!” Perhaps revealing the GOP’s 2014 campaign strategy, gamers smash Democratic agents as they reach for golden keys “to unlock the Senate and help Republicans win the Majority this fall.” Each key represents new Republican volunteers.
Collect three golden keys and you are on the way to the game’s next level (with an intermediate link to a site “where you can support Republicans in real life”).
At Level 1, the first encounter is with “Taxer,” a frazzled figure sent, the game explains, by President Obama and Harry Reid to deliver “job-destroying” taxes. Above a hilly terrain, three golden keys beckon.
We failed miserably at “Mission Majority.” Despite several attempts, we were unable to collect the golden keys leading to the next level. But surely younger users, whom Republican strategists seek to attract, would have little trouble navigating these digital obstacles.
The payoff for the GOP comes before the game even begins. To play “Mission Majority,” you have to first provide an email address or access to your Google or Facebook account.
“This is all about getting the info of what they hope will be young people who click on the link and could potentially vote for Republicans down the line and/or volunteer, donate, etc.,” writes political blogger Jaime Fuller in the Washington Post’s “The Fix.”
But as Facebook’s readership ages, Fuller wonders whether the strategy might misfire. “Given the changing demographics of Facebook, however (why does your great-aunt keep sending you game requests anyways!?), they might just end up exciting the base in a very unexpected way.”
Requests for comment from the NRSC went unanswered.
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