Online game lets political candidates duke it out

Online game lets political candidates duke it out

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioA new online game is giving new meaning to the term "political battle." It might be an unexpected tool for some politicians.

With primary elections coming up, practically everyone is speculating on who will win. So, I asked some people who they have their money on.

"Who would win, Mitt Romney of Hillary Clinton?" I asked.

One woman said, "Hillary Clinton." Then I asked, "Let me clarify. Who would win in a fist fight, Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton?" She still said, "Hillary."

This leads to my next question. "Is there any political figure, be it a politician or a political commentator, that you would like to see get beat up?"

Utahns are a peaceful people, and many people said "no." But one woman said, "Bill Clinton should get slapped in the face." Another woman said, "[That] gray-aired that was just fired, but now he's coming back." She was referring to talk-show host Don Imus. One man said, "I don't know, maybe our vice president."

Before anyone gets offended, no, I am not condoning physical violence on anyone. However, there is a new video game which pits 19 political figures against each other to duke it out. It's called DC Smackdown. You have to admit, Americans love watching politicians get knocked down a peg.

Chuck Tripp said, "[It's] kind of a safety valve for pent-up feelings that people have maybe about their own sense of helplessness about politics."

The game is styled like the old arcade game "Street Fighter." Two political figures face each other, both equipped with special powers. For example, Ann Coulter calls you a "Commie" and the shock waves from her mouth knock you down. John Edwards throws pacifiers saying, "I hate Fox [News]." Hillary Clinton sends a flock of Monica Lewinskys being chased by her husband to trample you. President Bush sends his former advisor Karl Rove dressed as the Grim Reaper to steal your soul. Mitt Romney sends a troop of LDS Church missionaries to run you over on their bikes.

I asked Westminster College political science professor Chuck Tripp what power he would have. "It would be the power to make everybody obey they law simultaneously, how's that?" he said.

"I'll be honest with you: It kind of sounds like a lame power," I said. Tripp just laughed that off.

Tripp says, if this game becomes popular, the people being made fun of in the game actually have a huge advantage because they're basically getting free press.

"The number-one reason people get elected to any office in this country is name recognition. That's a number one," he said.

There are some things some religious groups may find offensive. Jesse Jackson throws Hasidic Jews in reference to his "Hymietown" remark about New York. Also, in the background for Mitt Romney, the face of LDS Church President Joseph Smith is superimposed on a picture of Jesus Christ.

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