‘As You Win, Democracy Loses’: Where To Play A Gerrymandering Videogame

Mar 10, 2020

The VR game 'Gerrymander Madness' allows players to redistrict North Carolina's legislative maps for political gain.
Credit Courtesy of CrossComm, Inc.

What if the winning coach of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament chose the height of the hoop and the distance of the three-point line for the next year? Here in North Carolina, winning the majority in the state legislature lets lawmakers do something similar with the state’s electoral maps.

Strategic redistricting has long been the norm, and a new video game on display at the Greensboro History Museum wants visitors to experience how democracy can be corrupted. The museum is featuring “Gerrymander Madness” as part of their Project Democracy 20/20 program, which combines education, art and innovative game design to critically examine voting in the U.S.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Robert Harris, curator of exhibits at the museum, about how interactive exhibits can situate community members as history-makers. Also joining is Don Shin, CEO of CrossComm, an interactive consultancy, which designed the game. The video game and accompanying educational exhibits are on display into 2021. The museum hosts an after-hours games night on Friday, March 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.