I´ll share my DIGRA 2011 publication in this blog. I presented this case in 15th september (2011) in the Think Design Play Conference at Utrecht School of Arts and Technology (Hilversum). Enjoy!
We seek to analyze the use of a game as an advertising piece for a brazilian politics
campaign. We discuss the impact of a game in the mediatic scene of internet and how
important it can be for a new political scene in the contemporary world. Keywords: Serious game, internet, politcs, casual game
In this presentation we seek to analyze the use of a game as an advertising piece for a politics campaign. We are talking about the game “Pacto pelo Pará” (Pact for Pará –
Pará is a brazilian state), that was used on the elective campaign of governor Simão
Jatene in the year of 2010.
•DESCRIPTION AND SOME THOUGHTS
The game consists in a very intuitive interface, based on the well-known internet game
named Bejeweled. It has four stages and instead of gems, social problems (education,
sportes, healthcare) are presented, to be solved. The player needs to click in similar
ortogonal icons to eliminate them of the screen. A lateral score shows how much of the
objectives were accomplished. In the picture below, it´s possible to see the game interface.
Figure 1: the interface of the game. There´s a time counter, a score for points and a bonus multiplier. The icons in the center of the screen reflects social problems to be solved. (design and code by Cenildon Muradi Jr.)
The player, at the end of each stage, has the opportunity of sending their collaboration on a 140-character text form. The opinions expressed by each player at the end of each stage are put in a weblog and belong to an idea of a collaborative government. Obviously there’s a filter to ban the posting of offensive content. At the end of the fourth stage, the player has the opportunity of taking a picture using their webcam along with the point record achieved in the game, and challenging a friend to make a higher score. In the picture below, it´s possible to see this feature of the game.
Figure 2: in the end of a stage it's possible to send opinions, critics and praise about the social problems to the political group.
For a better understanding of the game there´s an internet adress for it in
This game fits on the Casual Game category, that, according to Gregory Trefay, can be
defined as games that are quick to play, accessibles and with a simple mechanics. In this kind of game: the rules and goals must be clear; players need to be able to quickly reach proficiency; casual game play adapts to a player´s life and schedule; game concepts borrow familiar content and themes from life.
It also enters the category of Serious Game, that following the thoughts of Nick Iuppa and Terry Borst, is explained as a game with a professional, educational or pedagogical use. a kind of game that mixes storttelling with a mechanics to send a serious message to the players envolved in the process.
We recently observed that the campaign for the U. S. President Barack Obama, amongst many other tools, used games and advertising inside games (in-game advertising) in it. We notice the importance of using a gamelike language to reach the digital-native audience. On the game Pacto pelo Pará, we notice the importance of using the game as an instrument of gathering, with an interface for social network and thus, becoming a viral marketing tool for the candidate’s campaign.
In this context, we use the idea of Johan Huizinga, author of the book Homo Ludens, in which he explains that in the human nature there is a tendency to play games or other ludic activities.
With this work, we sought to collaborate with the entertainment industry and the gamedeveloping area, specifically politic games.
HUIZINGA, Johan. Homo Ludens. São Paulo: Perspectiva, 2005.
Iuppa, Nick & BORST, Terry. Story and simulations for serious games: tales from the
trenches. Burlington: Focal Press, 2007
TREFY, Gregory; KAUFMANN, Morgan. Casual Game Design. Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann, 2010
PopCap Games. (2000). Bejeweled. [Intrenet, first version], PopCap Games, USA: played january, 2011.