Trump – Supreme Leader’s Social Utility

As I’m solely producing a project dossier without a playable version of ‘Supreme Leader’ [due to my early failed attempts at GameMaker – Studio], I feel like it’s necessary for myself to delve deeper into the relationship between my project and the utility of game design as a tool of political satire and protest. The analysis of this relationship denotes a better understanding of the position my work takes, within the greater realm of political satire as well as explores its social utility.

A core driving factor behind my decision to make a game lampooning D. Trump was that of social utility. As a fairly politicised individual, I desired to make a project that taps into my interests, yet I wanted to avoid confrontation as much as possible, so the decision to address American politics was made. The social utility of my project is that it detracts or undermines a political figurehead via Trumps’ obtuse, satirical portrayal. This utility objective is further by its presentation in a medium which rarely contains political messages whether it be thematic or sub-textual.

As Raessen explores in his article, ‘Computer Games as Participatory Media Cultural’, a new age of cultural capitalism is upon us, with the focus moving to cultural expression and the “increasing importance to give a political ideological reading of computer games as a participatory media culture.” Given my title would be developed by the community driven Steam Greenlight, I would argue there is a particular degree of “bottom-up” participatory culture, present in my work. As addressed in an earlier blog post, a core element of ‘Supreme Leaders’ development would be the submission of side-mission and quest arc storylines by members of the community, addressing their own relationship and perspective on politics. Hopefully this will provide a voice to people who don’t usually voice their politic perspective as well as hopefully draw not politicised people into the debate

Overall I am beginning to lament making my game about American politics, with our double-dissolution election less than 50 days away, the social utility of a game about Australian politics would have been far greater. It’s a shame the to a large amount of Australian’s, the American election is a bigger story then our own.simp 2


  1. Using American politics to avoid confrontation was a good idea, because it’s not as close to home as politics here. Trump in particular was a good choice, because he acts like a living charicature – which is something that Australian politics doesn’t seem to have. Even Abbott didn’t measure up, and he’s old news now. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t have the foresight to use people relevant to our upcoming election, but then again, those guys just plain aren’t as visible as the American frontrunners.

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  2. Satire is a really interesting idea that’s somewhat underused in the medium of video and board games. Saint’s Row is one title that incorporates it well, but games can do really interesting things with politics to give new insights. As they are a product of their environment, games inherently carry a little of their times with them, but it’s cool to see you go the extra mile and go full blown Trump wasteland. I agree with your end though, since your idea Australia has become scarily ripe for a similar type of satire!


  3. Great concept, and I don’t think there’s any need to lament about choosing American politics over Australian politics for your contextual background; let’s be honest, the whole world is following the USA political circuit right now. While I think the idea about essentially educating people about politics through a satirical game is great, I worry that perhaps you take this satirical, political angle too explicitly, thereby creating more of a novelty than a “serious game” (if you will). I’m reminded of a flash game, Kim Jong Golf, which is somewhat similar in that it’s a satirical, political game. Kim Jong Golf however relies too heavily on this concept that it lacks any form of compelling game play or narrative. There’s nothing wrong with making a game like that either, but keep in mind that effective games are when ludology meets narratology.


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