NYC Politics Goes to the Birds

2009 July 22
by Leah Yale Potter

Think passing health care legislation is hard?  Gotham Gazette has launched a game to promote awareness about the complicated steps required to get a candidate on the ballot in New York City. If you are a populist candidate the steps are actually quite easy because, according to the game, you’re facing a dead end.  Play Bump and you’ll learn that its okay to collect signatures from parolees registered to your party but stay away from upstanding foreigners and independents.  When it comes time to reviewing the signatures, put down your regular No. 2 pencil and go with red ink.  (If you prefer just the facts, read ’em at Understanding the Labyrinth: New York’s Ballot Access Laws.)

One gripe about the game design.  Why are candidates represented as birds?  The mixing of avian and labyrinthine metaphors makes no sense.  Birds, with their aerial view and flying abilities and all, are probably pretty good at navigating mazes.  They just fly over them.  Why not go with rats?

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