Let’s Do This, Politics: Strategery 2012
As I write this, there’s a political cottage meeting taking place next door. It’s about some local stuff that’s been balkanizing our typically-serene and friendly suburban neighborhood into factional compartments locked in an arms race to get up the most “Vote Yes” or “Vote No” posters. It’s a real shame, especially since both sides are motivated out of a desire to preserve our little corner of the valley that we live in, and I suspect that the divisions created these last few months will last years beyond the actual upcoming vote. I was invited, though somewhat grudgingly, and failed to attend due to a bout of ambivalence.
And then, something happy happened. Frustrated — by this local kerfuffle, by the noise around yesterday’s presidential debate, by et cetera —, I decided to get even more frustrated by playing a game that looked like it was going to be more fuel on the already-unwelcome fire.
You know what? I’ll be damned if it didn’t help. I’m feeling right as rain. Thanks, Strategery 2012: Right Makes Might. You rock.
Strategery 2012: Right Makes Might is Advance Wars, but instead of warfare, it’s the Republican Primary. Instead of bases, you’re taking control of the votes of cities and towns, and doing so not with infantry, but with Volunteers and Fundraisers. Instead of tanks, you have Rapid Response units ready to spin your boy’s gaffes. Rather than artillery, you have Press Secretaries, and in lieu of troop transports, you’ll be shuttling your people back and forth with Campaign Buses. And while you’ll be “attacking” people, you’ll be whittling down their credibility, not their health. Championing Mitt Romney has never been so much fun. Or, well, any fun. But here it is.
First of all, it works surprisingly well as a game. See a Fundraiser setting up in a cluster of cities? Get a Press Secretary over there to fill the airwaves with rhetoric, but watch out for the Rapid Response team zooming over to debunk your claims. Oh, and feel free to have your lowly Volunteers hassle the other side’s bus drivers into abandoning the campaign — it’ll take a while (they’re getting paid, after all), but they’re none too smart, so they won’t argue back.
If we got out a stepladder and strained our backs reaching, we might even be able to call this commentary, considering that votes are given to whoever talked to people first, and once a town or city has made up its mind, there’s no going back.
But what would be the point of that? Speaking as one who had to suffer through the actual primary (or the news of it, anyway), it’s a pleasantly cathartic experience to just sit back and focus on crushing all opposition beneath your rhetoric-laced, one-percent-funded heel. Especially when Herman Cain’s lackeys flip-flop between having the upper hand thanks to his solid talking points, to being significantly weakened because of accusations of sexual harassment. Oh Dark Horse!
Or watching Michele Bachmann try to use her special credibility-healing power, only to say something completely outlandish, that lovable nutcase.
Or trying to build more Romney Power than Gingrich Optimism. Tricky!
Okay, look, it isn’t the best thing ever. The tutorial is dull, without any difficulty levels some of the missions are annoyingly tough (though you can skip to any of the game’s levels), and it’s nothing groundbreaking.
But come on, there’s something cheerful about these people’s backstabbery, a sweetness to the harassment of volunteers and using empty buses to lock out access to cities. It’s a version of politics wearing its ugly and sinister heart on its sleeve, leering at you with a wild Rick Santorum grin. Yes, a grin on the heart. I said it was ugly.
So how ’bout it, politics?