Durham, N.C. — As election day in November nears and the political fervor reaches fever levels, FiveOneNine Games is rolling out a video game for Facebook that is designed to put players in charge of the campaign process.
Durham-based FiveOneNine Games, which is a joint venture between EW Scripps Company and Capitol Broadcasting, launched the Facebook game "Campaign Story" last month -- just before the Republican and Democratic conventions took centerstage.
"Quite frankly, people are getting a little fed up with the political process as it is. Here's your chance to run a campaign the way you want to," said Lloyd Melnick, CEO of FiveOneNine Games.
The player can start as a candidate for mayor, send campaign staff to go out and raise their popularity, respond to headlines, decide whether to run a positive or negative campaign, help their friends' campaigns and then hold an election.
"You give a player a chance to run their own campaign and be able to play politics the way they want to play," said Mike Tata, a producer at FiveOneNine Games.
Melnick says Campaign Story is a hit – and not only among people who obsess over politics.
"As people are getting more interested in the election, it's driving interest in our game," Melnick said.
"I think it can reach a broader audience and get people really more into politics and be more aware of what's happening around them in the political world."
The company says the point is getting people engaged in a virtual world to learn more about the real world.
FiveOneNine Games focuses on social games for iOS, Android, Facebook and other platforms. It also has published "Political Rampage."