Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Drawing the line: online redistricting game teaches political lessons

Online game teaches lessons on the dangers of gerrymanderingNothing is more divisive in America today than its politics.

But it's not the lines in the sand we should worry about. The Redistricting Game, an online game developed for the USC Annenberg Center for Communication, shows us that it's the lines that define congressional districts that should concern us. According to the web site,

The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.

By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system.

(With a hat tip to The Map Room for the link.)