Web Exclusive: Video games get political

(CNN) - Two opponents, dramatic twists, sharp jabs, and a race to the finish. It's no surprise that the 2012 presidential campaign has been prime fodder for the video game industry.

Leaping from state to state, firing shots along the way.  The final battleground blitz has all the elements, of a great video game.  The number of politically-themed games has tripled since 2004, according the entertainment software association.  In 2012, it's an opportunity to vent some political passion, and have some fun.

"Before you know it you can be pelting your opponent with a light sabre, or a hot dog, or a marshmallows, just good fun, just venting," says Rich Taylor, Entertainment Software Association. 
Among the animated characters and exaggerated jabs, games like "Political Machine 2012" let players craft a stump speech and maybe learn a thing or two about the issues.  "Race for the White house 2012" sends players through the same hurdles as the real candidates. And the games can also capture the attention of a key demographic.

"A lot of these games engage folks in voter registration to help make sure they're part of the political process and not left out," says Rich Taylor, Entertainment Software Association. 
Like "Vote: The Game," from Epic Games, which partnered with Rock the Vote, so after virtual political combat, players can register to vote in the real election.


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