Browser-based golf game explains how gerrymandering works

There’s a new browser-based golf game with courses shaped around gerrymandered district lines in the US.

The educational jaunt was put together by The Washington Post (opens in new tab) as a way to show its audience how politicians manipulate the boundaries of electoral constituencies to benefit their political party in elections, a tactic commonly referred to as partisan gerrymandering or redistricting. It’s the reason that, instead of looking like a normal district with clear and well-defined boundaries, Maryland’s 3rd congressional district looks like a twisted pretzel.

Gerrymandering golf game

(Image credit: The Washington Post)

If you’re a fan of golf games, you’ll probably enjoy this one well enough for a short while, even if it gets pretty darn tricky in the courses based on the more gerrymandered districts – Maryland’s 3rd district is damn near impossible. It’s less fun if you think about how those absurd barriers blocking your golf ball’s path to the hole are actual barriers drawn by politicians to make your vote in the next election matter less, so just don’t think about that too much.

If you can’t make par, or bogey, or triple bogey – and you’d need some serious patience to do so – you can skip any hole too challenging to get to the next map, and each map includes fascinating, if slightly depressing, information about the district it’s designed around. At the end of the game, there’s a little bonus slide explaining a bit of the history around the term gerrymandering and then you’re shown your score card comparing your results with those of the average WaPo reader.

Win or lose we all emerge from the gerrymandered golf game a little more educated in election politics and, hopefully, not too cynical about it all to give a crap.

Here are some new games of 2022 to look forward to.

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