Online Game Hot Air Provides Some Post-Campaign Catharsis
A couple weeks ago, there was a collective shudder when Tagg Romney expressed his desire to “clock the president” after the second presidential debate. And although the lesser Romney was subsequently skewered by the media, we’ve all wanted to take out a little aggression on our elected officials—no matter what party we belong to. So, as a little cathartic release, The Notion Collective has come out with Hot Air a new online game that asks you to ‘deflate’ partisan politics.
The game is basically the red-white-and-blue version of Space Invaders, complete with retro 8-bit animation. To start, pick a side—democrats are represented by a blue donkey, and republicans a red elephant. Your avatar floats at the top of the screen and darts down at rising balloons. When you select a balloon, an anonymous tweet appears at the top of the screen and you have to determine whether that tweet comes from a party ally or foe. If you choose correctly you get 100 points, but if you shoot one of your own you loose 100 points. After bursting the balloon, the tweet’s author is revealed. The selection of tweets come from “Tweet Congress,” an aggregator of tweets coming from Capitol Hill.
The coolest part? The tweets are collected in real-time, so every game has a different set. In true Space Invaders style, the balloons begin to rise faster and faster as you move up levels, adding a reading-foreign-film-subtitles-style challenge. Sure the game does feed into the hyper-polarized version of American politics, and independents and green party voters are out of luck, but the biggest problem is probably its addictiveness. And who knows, maybe some enthusiastic fans will create a Gary Johnson-Jill Stein spin-off.