As of April 5 2010, there was only one hot topic in the news and that was the impending General Election.
As such, UK based games design and development team, T-Enterprise, decided to do what it does best – design a game that is based upon the election and the fact that there are three leaders battling it out to become Prime Minister.
The challenge was to create a game that would appeal to people of both genders and all ages in order to promote the election as a major event in the history of Great Britain.
It was a much closer election than ever before and a crucial one as a result of the state of the economy. As such, the team needed to formulate an idea that would reflect that it is a real battle and one that is vital for the survival of the country.
T-Enterprise also wanted to be able to use the choices of games to create a unique type of Moray Poll for Internet gamers.
Combining these different factors was certainly a challenge but then T-Enterprise has never shied away from one before.
Although the challenge was to create a game that appealed to the general public as much as possible, the strategy behind the creation of the game was just as important.
Much has been said about the general sense of disillusionment in society regarding the political arena of late, mainly thanks to the expenses scandal, and this has left many people apathetic.
T-Enterprise wanted to encourage people to vote who felt that disillusionment as well as those who may have always been indifferent about elections. By encouraging people to vote, our strategy was to enhance the democratic process.
All that was left to do was to come up with a viable game during the design process and to ensure the implementation of it went smoothly.
The implementation of the challenge and the strategy was difficult because the UK based games design and development team had to actively create a game that would fulfil both and really appeal to the public.
The team chose to model it on ‘Street Fighter‘, the classic 1980s fighting game that would have undoubtedly appealed to all gamers of voting age given that it would have more than likely been a big part of their childhoods.
After deciding upon the model, the UK based games design and development team at T-Enterprise began to design the characters that would represent Brown, Cameron and Clegg, as well as those they would be fighting against to get into Downing Street.
It took three days in total to design and develop, and T-Enterprise was really pleased with the results it achieved within 24 hours of providing it to the public for free with the total cost of three days’ development taken on by the company.
The BBC labelled ‘Downing Street Fighter’ “the most talked about thing on Twitter” on its Election 2010 coverage, which serves to highlight just how quickly the game went viral.
And it most definitely went viral, exceeding all of our expectations. It was promoted via TEnterprise’s Twitter account and within hours had been re-tweeted from accounts all over the world with millions flocking to play it.
As of midday on May 5, 2010, ‘Downing Street Fighter’ had received 5, 213, 612 hits since its release on April 19
Publications including Metro wrote about ‘Downing Street Fighter‘. The BBC, CNN, politics.co.uk and News24.com websites all wrote features about it, particularly after the game was modified to pit Gordon Brown against “bigoted woman” Gillian Duffy.
It has also been featured on TV shows like The Daily Politics and The Campaign Show.
The level of success achieved by ‘Downing Street Fighter’ is unprecedented, especially considering it is a free game that anyone can play.
It has certainly helped to raise awareness of the election and has hopefully encouraged many to vote, including those who would not otherwise have chosen to do so.
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