Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Redistricting Game

How may future lawyers, legislators or policymakers really understand how congressional redistricting works--and how it affects political power and the outcome of elections? Grasping these concepts would never be fun if it weren't for the Redistricting Game.

This free game, developed at the University of Southern California's Game Innovation Lab for the USC Annenberg Center for Communication, lets you play the "redistricting game" by redrawing maps of congressional districts in fictional states within a browser window. Watch the results both on the map and in the facial expressions of the fictional representatives affected by your moves, and work toward approval of your plan. Players can work through five missions, including basic population equality, partisan Gerrymander, and Voting Rights Act. Each mission comes with eye-opening quotes.

Check out this game and play the real world variables to understand how the system really works.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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