The Redistricting Game

type: manag./econ., edutainment
genre: Serious game
perspective: bird's-eye
player options: single player
languages: eng

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Personal review

As far as I know, this is the only game ever to officially be set in my home state, Jefferson.

Its an eye opener. As a Libertarian the first jarring realization was the choice of players. Libby Rahl is a Democrate and Conner Servative is a Republican. There is no hint of requirement of unaffiliated players and no other parties are parties are part of the process. I jumped right in and choose Conner Servative. An initial attempt at blatantly stacking the map to favor Republicans was unsurprisingly approved by both houses of Congress where Republicans have a clear majority of the seats and only Libby Rahl vocally opposed it. In turn, the Republican governor of Jefferson signed the plan with only a moments contemplation to cast aside his integrity. Then the plan was challenged by a democrat in court as being partisan based. Once again this came as no surprise. But then came a shocker, the court ruled in favor of my plan! This ruling was eventually reversed on appeal, so the system worked right? Well, sorta. The court found no fault in my republican favoritism. Instead they ruled the plan was in violation of "Compactness Laws". I had to many finger like protrusions on my map that I'd used to distribute republican voters. My obviously partisan plan was rejected on a pure ascetic judgment of the ugly shape of my districts. After some slight reshaping, it was passed, signed, ruled constitutional after challenged, and my party can now muzzle the democratic voters of my home state. Not that difficult since they were the minority to begin with. Since voters don't have a clue about redistricting, they have no idea how I perverted the system for my own gain. The republicans voted me in for another term and who cares about the democrats. Even the liberal press praises me because I received 67% of the popular vote which matches the 67% of the states population being republican. Like most voters, the press believes that a member of a political party will always vote for his party's candidates. This 67% was no accident, it took a fair amount of bean counting on my part to achieve it.
Now for the more challenging perversion, redistricting to favor minority democrats. First off, As Libby Rahl I am hired by the Republican party, just like Conner Servative was. You see, whoever holds the majority of the seats in the state legislature hires the redistricters. Maybe I trade political favors so often that I forgot who I had to bribe to convince the Republicans to hire me. Or maybe they hired me for a less sinister but equally inappropriate reason. Perhaps they believe I support a bi-partisan bill banning videogames. Regardless, after a whole lot of bean counting and redrawing a get a hotly debated bill that barely passes at 51/49 and hold up in court. It took a whole lot of time and who knows how much tax money, and even better, I manage to get re-elected for my last term. Which is good news for gamers. I no longer have an incentive to ban videogames. There are numerous additional scenarios involving all sorts of political combinations and various degrees of difficulty and simulation complexity. The game definitely makes it point, its easy to corrupt the system. That is, if you believe the game is accurate. A quick check on the game's creators reveals these are publicly trusted people as they have provided services for the likes of Jeopardy! and Children's Television Workshop. Quite unusually in politics, they seemed to have never been accused of anything. But even for the most cynical disbeliever, one has to admit the game successfully challenges the current redistricting system to improve.

(Zerothis) - # 2007-06-20 23:16:02


Learn how map boundaries effect politics by redrawing them. See how such remapping could be used to manipulate votes. Gain a more complete understanding of the politics, rules, laws and customs of this highly import, yet rarely discussed and often not understood process.

It seems this is the only game ever to officially be set in the State of Jefferson.
(Zerothis) - # 2007-06-20 21:20:37

Technical specs

display: raster

Authors / Staff


Chris Swain [Co-Director EA Game Innovation Lab] (project lead)
Duane Dunfield [Red Hot Learning] (project lead)
Kurosh Valenejad (art director)
Peggy Weil (producer)


Chris Swain [Co-Director EA Game Innovation Lab] (lead game designer)
Greg Johnson (additional game design)
Henry Goldberg (additional game design)
Jeremy Bernstein (game designer)
Max Geiger (additional game design)
Peggy Weil (design)
Peggy Weil (game designer)
Richard Hodkinson (additional game design)
Rocky Almodovar (character design)
Sean Nadeau (character design)


Greg Johnson (writing)
Henry Goldberg (writing)
Jeremy Bernstein (writer)
Max Geiger (writing)
Peggy Weil (writing)
Richard Hodkinson (writing)


Andrew Saunders [Red Hot Learning] (programming team)
Andrew Saunders [Red Hot Learning] (development)
Anne Shi [Red Hot Learning] (programming)
Anne Shi [Red Hot Learning] (development)
Chris Collings [Red Hot Learning] (programming team)
Chris Collings [Red Hot Learning] (development)
Duane Dunfield [Red Hot Learning] (programming)
Duane Dunfield [Red Hot Learning] (development)
Heather Todd [Red Hot Learning] (programming)
Heather Todd [Red Hot Learning] (development)


Brian Lee (opening animation)
Brian Lee (animation)
Jeremy Bernstein (opening animation)
Kurosh Valenejad (art)
Kurosh Valenejad (graphic design)
Mike Rossmassler (art)
Mike Rossmassler (graphic design)
Mike Rossmassler (graphic artist)
Rocky Almodovar (art)
Rocky Almodovar (graphic design)
Rocky Almodovar (graphic artist)
Sean Nadeau (art)
Sean Nadeau (graphic design)
Sean Nadeau (illustration)
Suzie Roth (art)
Suzie Roth (graphic design)
Vince Diamante (opening animation)


Vince Diamante (score)
Vince Diamante (sound effects)


Jeremy Bernstein (voice over)


Andrew Saunders [Red Hot Learning] (web team)
Heather Todd [Red Hot Learning] (web team)
Suzie Roth (website design)


Anne Shi [Red Hot Learning] (testing team)
Heather Todd [Red Hot Learning] (testing team)


Ben SawyerDesign of Digitalmill
Sonya L. Lebsack


Chris Swain [Co-Director EA Game Innovation Lab] (assistant professor)
Geoff Cowan [Dean of Annenberg School for Communication] (advisor)
Greg Johnson (production)
Henry Goldberg (production)
Inc (consultant)
Inc (subject matter expert)
Jeremy Bernstein (script)
Jeremy Bernstein (direction)
John Zollinger [Associate Dean for Communications for USC School of Cinematic Arts] (pr)
Jonathan Aronson [Executive Director of USC Annenberg Center for Communication] (advisor)
Kareem Crayton [Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science] (political science research advisor)
Max Geiger (production)
Ph.D. (additional research)
Pierre DeVries [Senior Fellow of USC Annenberg Center for Communication] (advisor)
Richard Hodkinson (production)

Contributors (3)


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The Redistricting Game in-game screen.
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