McCain Facebook game pokes fun at pork
John McCain’s campaign last week launched a video game on Facebook called “Pork Invaders,” a spoof on the 1978 arcade favorite “Space Invaders” that takes aim at pork barrelling, or government spending that aims to satisfy a group of voters in exchange for their political support.
In the game, players use arrow keys to shift a McCain logo across the screen to shoot red “vetoes” at a herd of pigs looming above. But watch out, the pigs are ready to aim at and, well, soil, the Arizona Senator’s logo. The more pigs players “veto,” the larger the amount of dollars saved in the budget.
The low-tech game is a “unique way to get the Senator’s message out there about pork barrelling and earmarks,” according to Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the McCain campaign.
Facebook users can add the video game application to their profiles. This is one of the first online strategies McCain’s campaign has used on Facebook, a social online network popular with the young voters who have flocked to support McCain’s rival, Democrat Barack Obama.
“Folks on Facebook tend to get news in non-traditional means, whereas our grandparents would sit down and watch the news with Tom Brokaw,” said Gorka. “Facebook is yet one avenue we can use to target voters in this election.”
But will the game really be popular with young voters? The majority of high school and college-aged Facebook users weren’t even born back when “Space Invaders” was popular and could miss the humor of the campaign’s spoof.
McCain’s campaign describes the game as “very popular” with users, yet it’s only drawn 433 daily active users out of the 80 million on Facebook. Obama doesn’t have his own video game (for now), but he still overwhelmingly leads McCain in terms of pledged Facebook supporters. Over a million Facebook users list themselves as Obama fans, easily trumping McCain’s tally of 152, 619 supporters.
— Posted by Jennifer Martinez