Swiss political group creates Mario-style video game to support AHV vote

Swiss political group creates Mario-style video game to support AHV vote

To attract people to vote in the latest round of Swiss referendums, most parties and associations would organise a rally or conference to put their perspective across. However, "Team Freedom", a political advocacy group, has come up with a rather strange way to get Swiss citizens to vote in September, by creating a Mario-style video game about AHV.

Swiss video game created to push people to vote for AHV reform

The game, created in the style of the Nintendo hit Super Mario, has the player collecting coins and mushrooms and surviving for as long as possible while protecting their “pension”. The "enemies" are blocks with the Social Democratic Party (SP) and the Unia trade union logos on them, who “want the player's remaining retirement assets”, according to the game's homepage.

The game is designed to coax Swiss citizens into approving two AHV initiatives which will be voted on in September, one of which is to increase the retirement age of women to 65. “We want to ensure that young people who are not very interested in politics also notice that this vote also affects them, because their pensions are also at risk," Team Freedom leader Leroy Bächtold told 20 minuten.

According to the paper, Team Freedom paid a developer 3.000 Swiss francs to create the game. When asked whether portraying the SP and Unia as the “enemy” was in good taste, Bächtold said, "We think it's okay to express yourself in a somewhat provocative way in the voting campaign."

Opponents call the video game tasteless

In response, the president of the Young Socialists, Nicola Siegrist, said that the game was “tasteless”. “It suits the advocates of the AHV reform. They are obviously in a defensive position. They have run out of arguments for the anti-social AHV reform, so they are now attacking us and dehumanising SP and Unia members," she noted.

"It won't work. I'm sure that we can convince the electorate with arguments rather than with a game that is empty," Siegrist added. “Many young people find out about votes on social media. It is important that they receive fact-based information. Such a populist game doesn't help."

If you would like to try the game out yourself, you can do so on Team Freedom's website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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