All art is always political on some level. It reflects the attitudes of the culture that made it, at the very least. But video games are rarely explicitly political — unless they stumble into cultural hot spots, which usually shouldn’t be there in the first place. Now the GOP Arcade is flipping that view on its head by using video games not as entertainment, but to make a point.
The arcade is a collection of simple games all themed around recent politics. You’re rarely demanded to do much more than hit a few buttons or click on the screen repeatedly. It’s mostly about the context, which their YouTube video sums up:
The games themselves are often parodies of well-known games like Angry Birds, using a classic pixel art style. And The GOP Arcade definitely has a point of view, which you can guess from the screenshots:
The best game of the bunch is the New York Times-sponsored Vote Suppression Trail, which simulates the ongoing problems faced by three different people who simply want to vote in elections. When you play through all of it, it quickly becomes clear just who has the privilege of voting in America, and just how fragile that privilege is. Or the much simpler Thoughts And Prayers, which lets you offer thoughts and prayers for mass shootings, without doing anything substantial.