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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Fighting Game Released: Yang2020 Path to Presidency

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - If you got $1,000 a month, you could fund pet projects like this easily.

In the tradition of KoopaTV publishing an interactive game project every year—back in the days when I could budget my time better in part because other staff members helped me more often—I'd like to use this article to introduce you to the just-published-on-Steam fighting game, Yang2020 Path to Presidency.

This isn't some random Flash game I found from nowhere looking for article material... presidential candidate Andrew Yang even tweeted about it! There's something fairly special about:
  1. A person-based fanbase that goes through the effort to produce a videogame about their person
  2. The person in question acknowledges and supports the game effort

Most other core politician supporter bases will never do something like make a videogame, either because their supporter base isn't made up of people who will do things like this (for example, politicians who mostly answer to wealthy rich donors won't see those wealthy rich donors dedicate their non-existent programming skills or time) or because that politician is, in fact, rather generic, interchangeable, and uninspiring. People tend not to devote free time towards promoting those kinds of politicians.

Andrew Yang 2020 Path to Presidency Donald Trump Oval Office fighting game videogame
This may or may not be spoilers, but the story mode is only an hour or so long anyway.
Both Andrew Yang and President Donald John Trump's support bases can be very creative and create engaging cultural pieces.

Anyway, it's a 2D fighting game with a story mode where you play as Andrew Yang, fight many of the other Democrat presidential candidates (and a few other folks that have been along Yang's journey so far) that you may recognise from the Democrat presidential primary debates that have occurred up 'til now, and as you see in the screenshot above, President Donald John Trump is of course in Andrew Yang's way at the end. There's also a versus mode featuring the unlocked characters and stages from story mode. The stylistic resemblance to something like Dragon Ball FighterZ is intentional.

As for the actual game quality... reviews all acknowledge it's pretty buggy with undesirable controls. Everyone in the game has the same moveset, except for President Donald John Trump. The story mode is full of charm and in-jokes for people who have been following the campaign. That's all much like a KoopaTV game. The difference between KoopaTV's games and Yang2020 Path to Presidency is that this game isn't free. It's $7. I'm pretty sure that's all going to compensate the developer, British guy Sam Vallely. He also has a “team of 8” mentioned in his GoFundMe that was created for the game, and they might get compensated, too.

Here's the interesting bit. Normally, Andrew Yang supporters would use their free money on donating to the Andrew Yang campaign. However, people who aren't Americans legally can't donate to American political campaigns. BUT, they can still do things like independently (of the campaign) make pieces of entertainment, and get other non-Americans donate to those creation efforts. Then Americans can engage with that entertainment, which may end up influencing their voting behaviour. That's why KoopaTV, an outlet based from Koopa Kingdom (certainly foreign to the United States of America), does what it does.

Some Democrats might call that “foreign interference in an election” and “collusion.” I call it “culture.” And at the very least, the fact this game exists is good culture. (Even if it may or may not be a quality product.) 

Have a happy New Year, or something. Ludwig will talk more about that in the KoopaTV monthly newsletter that will be published on January 1st, so... save your wishes for then. For now, you may discuss Yang2020 Path to Presidency. Don't take this article as an endorsement of the Yang campaign; though it is an endorsement of Andrew Yang's supporters. (However, if you look at KoopaTV's debate coverage, it's clear that Ludwig has a relatively positive opinion of Andrew Yang, at least versus the other Democrats.) He doesn't know if Yang2020 Path to Presidency addresses the inherent contradiction in making a fighting game based on a candidate that discusses human empathy. Probably does!


  1. It's too bad that the game did not implement Yang's campaign slogan "Not left, not right, forward," literally. Though, I suppose that a game with only one directional input just would not be too difficult or enjoyable for that manner.

    1. Well, an on-rails fighting game is... a novel concept.
      (Maybe I should... look into that.)
      I don't think this game is meant to invent new genres, though!


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