There's an old truism in politics: If you want to turn out the youth vote, you need to build an odd 8-bit video game to reach them and hope the vaguely Italian and homophonic name of the game's hero isn't offensive.
Actually, maybe that's more of a noobism, but it also describes "Giopi: 2014 Mission Majority," the National Republican Senatorial Committee's attempt at reaching out to young voters and procrastinators of all ages.
This Super Mario Bros.-style scroller has Giopi (pronounced G-O-P; get it?) the elephant hopping on "taxers" and "mudlsingers" who sarcastically spout the same dozen or so Democratic gaffes (most of which need a little more context to be understood by those who don't dine on Republican talking points each evening) when you jump on their heads. Or as the NRSC puts it in a blog post:
"You'll need to watch out for the job-destroying 'Taxers.' You can jump on top of them to suppress their high taxes."
In the first three levels, you'll need to collect three literal keys to help create a new Republican majority in the Senate. In the fourth and final level, you've got to then flip six actual light switches, each representing the switching of a Senate seat from blue to red after Election Day. In case you don't follow politics, six seats would have to switch from Democratic to Republican this election cycle to give the GOP control of the upper house of Congress.
After beating the game, you're prompted to donate to the real cause. You also have to log in with Facebook, Google+, or an email account to play.
I suspect the real fundraising mechanism here may be more shrewd. With so much money flying around Silicon Valley lately, perhaps the NRSC is hoping that the game may just be purchased by the likes of Microsoft for a cool billion. After all, I think I actually like the game play in "Giopi" better than Microsoft's own recent attempt at a gag game to say goodbye to Windows XP.
Check out the trailer for the game below, or give it a try yourself here.