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Election fever spills over to app zone

Mahima A. Jain Chennai | Updated on April 10, 2014 Published on April 09, 2014

saddahaq

A new mobile app finds players pitting their favourite netas against each other

Remember those highly-addictive trump card games from your childhood? The ones where you pitted your cards against those of your opponents, based on various attributes of world-famous wrestlers? Now one can play this game in a new avatar – with a set of virtual trump cards of politicians contesting in the General Elections 2014.

Game on

Hyderabad-based news-cum-social media Web site Saddahaq.com, on Monday launched a game called Power Play, which is available for android phones on Google Play. The idea behind it is simple: Political education through gaming.

Educating the masses

Says 25-year-old Pallav Bajjuri, CEO of SaddaHaq.com, “We conducted a survey of students from across the country. They could not name many leaders other than Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. These were first-time voters who weren’t aware of whom they were voting for and why, and this was scary.” But the same survey also revealed that most young people spent a lot of time on social networking sites and gaming.

“If we condense political data into interesting bits of information then people could learn while having fun,” he added.

Rulebook 101

Power Play has a set of cards, each dedicated to a sitting Member of Parliament or a Lok Sabha contestant in the 2014 General Elections. Each card has a short profile of the candidate which includes information about his or her political party, constituency, educational background, (if applicable) attendance in Parliament and the number of questions asked, and the number of criminal cases registered against the member or the candidate. The game can be played in single and multi-player mode.

A player wins a card if a certain parameter on his or her card is better. For instance, in the case of education, it should be higher; in the case of crime record, the lower the better. Bajjuri said, “The information is not novel, but the problem is people are not using it because it is not fun.”

The investment was about ₹10,000-15,000. “Saddahaq has six developers and three interns. The app was built in two weeks by just three people,” he explains. Data was gathered from PRS, Association of Democratic Reforms and myneta.com.

The app can be downloaded from Google Play.

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Published on April 09, 2014
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