Politicomp is a non-competitive Interactive Fiction festival featuring politics. That's the only rule: some form of politics should feature prominently in the game. The word "politics" can be interpreted however the authors see fit: activism, political viewpoints, electoral politics, apathy, satire or something completely different. The length, breadth, and everything else are completely unregulated.
There will be no winner or loser, and all viewpoints will be accepted without exception. The point of this comp is not to compete, but to compose a set of games which celebrates diversity of ideas, inclusion of weighty subject matter in IF, and its discussion between and among a face-to-face public.
We humans are not psychologically built to stew in our own personal ideological funk. Yet we are increasingly isolated from each other, in the absence of institutions like unions, political parties, and even town squares, which would bring us together to air new ideas and gather those of friends. This is partly the result of a huge, conscious effort over the last century, making isolation not only dangerous and unhealthy, but purposeful and wrong.* This isolation has helped breed frustration and alienation to an extraordinarily high level especially in the US. It's time we began to break out of this trend and got a little democracy going.
To enter, mail your game on or before April 15, 2002 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The rec.arts.int-fiction FAQ has information of use to beginning IF authors. The games will be released on May first, 2002—Mayday, the most widely recognized political day of observance in the world. Many sites exist to give background on the origins of Mayday, but very briefly, it's in remembrance of a gathering in Chicago where people were killed for resisting power. This holiday then spread all over the globe, and was all but forgotten where it started. (You may take this choice of date to reveal the political biases of the organizer of this contest, if you like. :-)
The games will be reviewed in some depth by a panel including Jennifer Earl, Neil deMause, Matthew Murray, and Duncan Stevens. They will be encouraged to comment on the subject matter, in addition to whatever they would normally say in a review. Judges may enter, but they may not review their own games as part of their official reviews.
Million Man March photo credit: Jim Wallace, ©1995 Smithsonian Institution, permission pending
* For more information, see Taking the Risk out of Democracy by Alex Carey.
Updated Monday, March 4, 2002