You’re not going to die of dysentery, but it might just find a way to kill your vote.
The New York Times has a modern-day Oregon Trail parody for you to play that explores the “heroic” journey Americans will make on November 8th to their polling place. Part of the publication’s series of “Op-Docs” — opinionated documentaries — covering the 2016 election, The Voter Suppression Trail is the final installment of the series.
You have three options: you can be a white programmer from California; a Latina nurse from Texas; or a black salesman from Wisconsin. The challenges you face are very different depending on your character, and reflect the unique difficulties voters face based on their race and location.
“Some paths will be more intrepid than others, particularly for blacks, Latinos and pretty much anyone who brings the kind of diversity to our polling places that they have historically lacked,” the site reads, referring to the real world voter experience. “Thanks to laws passed by Republicans to fight the nonexistent threat of voter fraud, the perils will be great. Long lines and voter ID laws, not to mention pro-Trump election observers, will try to keep these voters from the polls.”
The Times’ game is a cute, friendly way to deliver information about polling places, which is otherwise known as a “newsgame.” Newsgames aim to teach or inform players through play, rather than traditional print or video. The genre has been thoroughly explored by authors such as Ian Bogost, Simon Ferrari, and Bobby Schweizer, who penned Newsgames: Journalism at Play, together.
If you like The Voter Suppression Trail, the guys who made it — Chris Baker, Brian Moore and Mike Lacher — have a whole mess of satirical political games at GOP Arcade.
Don’t forget to vote on November 8th! For real, please vote.