Prize in presidential game show: Trip to inauguration

Still don't know who you're voting for for president? Maybe a broadband TV game show could help.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
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Leslie Katz
2 min read
McCain game show
The McCain game show: click to enlarge. 7.TV
Obama game show
The Obama game show: click to enlarge. 7.TV

Still don't know who you're voting for for president? If the debates, media coverage, and attempted persuasiveness of friends, family, and passersby haven't helped you decide, maybe a game could sway you--or at least teach you a little trivia about the candidates. (Do you know which basketball player was Obama's childhood idol? I didn't yesterday, but I do now).

7.TV, a new broadband TV game show company, has launched the POTUS44 Experience, a fun little pair of online game shows that test players' knowledge about John McCain, Barack Obama, and presidential history in general (examples: Who won by the largest margin of popular votes in history? How many presidents were once vice presidents? Who became a chief justice after becoming president?).

Through multiple-choice questions and Wheel of Fortune-type word puzzles relating to the candidates' lives and slogans, players collect POTUS (president of the United States) points. Get at least 200,000 points, and you qualify for the live finale at 6:30 p.m. PDT November 3, the night before the election. The top point winner will get an expense-paid trip for two to the January 2009 inauguration--which, depending on the top POTUS44 point getter, could make for a slightly awkward trip to D.C. if your candidate loses but you win.

Each POTUS44 game provides direct links to the candidates' actual sites, a "donate now" button, and a Google search screen to help players check their work. Players can chat with and compete against other players in real time, and each one-hour game can be repeated--which is good, as the games are fast-paced, laden with bells and whistles, and take a little getting used to.

Frank S. Maggio, founder and CEO of 7.TV and the game show platform's creator, says the game shows are bipartisan. No advertising dollars from either party have been accepted to date, though players are asked during the games to rate, on a number scale, the inspiration level and effectiveness of specific campaign ads. Maggio also says the possibility remains that one or both candidates will participate--once they're done scouring the swing states, of course.

I'm Leslie Katz and I approved this blog.