Vallone said the game provides a healthy outlet for voter frustration. There is no violence — digital images of politicians can get a pie in the face or the player can throw tomatoes — voters vent frustrations in the safe, cartoon-like environment of a casual video game.
The data gathered during that game play provides vital polling information that eventually will be sold to politicians and other groups who routinely pay for polling information.
“My 72-year-old mother-in-law loves to go on Facebook and play Bejeweled,” Vallone said.
His wife plays Words with Friends.
These casual games cut across age and other demographic boundaries, hitting a range of ages from 35 to 65.
“I think most people doing the polling would love to tap into that demographic,” he said. “We have found that people are interested in politics. They’re frustrated, and they don’t think their voices count.”
Because of the Cloud — that nebulous no-place yet every-place where virtual servers on the internet connect — people will be able to compete against one another on their phones.
The internet is providing the key to connecting with those disenfranchised voters. Eventually, Vallone believes, people will be able to vote from the comfort of their homes.
For now, perhaps AngryVoters will empower players and motivate them to go to the polls and cast a ballot.
The game will be free to play with upgrades and special features available for a small fee. A related and more serious non-partisan web site will be subscription based. That site will have hard news and polling data available.
AngryVoters will be a stepping stone to the main product, a “very involved multi-media web site,” Vallone said.
The site will be informative but lively and entertaining.
In other words, it’s appeal will expand to include that lost in computer space generation of 30-somethings and younger who barely, if at all, remember life before their smart phones.