All Your Political Base Are Belong to Us

Video games with a political agenda

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


“Advergames” are an increasingly popular method of bringing commercial messages to the nation’s 117 million or so video gamers. Interest groups are also getting into the action, hooking up with design shops such as Persuasive Games, which, for a mere $40,000, will design a custom game to get out your political message.

 

Game / Creator

How to Play

Feels Like…

Nice Touch

Airport Security
Persuasive Games

Oversee a busy airport security checkpoint, relieving passengers of contraband such as water bottles, toasters, and pants

If the ACLU reissued the ’80s arcade game Tapper

Tapper

Courtesy announcement: “Please be advised: Security personnel are authorized to use groping.”

Take Back Illinois
Illinois Republicans

Take Back Illinois

Lower medical costs, boost civic engagement, and improve schools and the economy

SimCity meets Milton Friedman

Rigged so that you can only win if you freeze taxes or cap malpractice damages

Darfur is Dying
University of Southern California students, winners of the Darfur Digital Activist Contest

Play a refugee trying to find water while hiding from Jeeps filled with rampaging Janjaweed militiamen

Sid Meier’s End of Civilization

Sid Meyer's End of Civilization

So you’re sitting on your butt playing a video game about genocide

Border Patrol
The Insurgent, a white supremacist website

Border Patrol

Blow away Mexican drug smugglers and “breeders” with children in tow as they cross into the United States

Duck Hunt for racists

Score 88 points and win. The number is a neo-Nazi code for “Heil Hitler” (H is the 8th letter of the alphabet).

Bushgame
Activist programmer Jason Oda

Guide Hulk Hogan and Mr. T as they battle corporate pigs and mutant Bush Cabinet members in a surreal fight to save the world

Old-school Nintendo, as imagined by the South Park guys

South Park

Bridging a gaping chasm with a super-nerdy bar chart of the federal deficit. Don’t fall into that $500 billion hole!

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.