SmallWorld.com Makes Game Out of Politics
SmallWorld has 1.5 million members who participate in fantasy-based sporting games. The site earns money through advertising and its Small World e-commerce section.
The Poll Position game gives a player 50 million Small World Dollars. The player spends this budget on states that a presidential candidate is likely to win. For example, purchasing Texas for George W. Bush would probably be a costly acquisition. Players earn points for every correct state/candidate combination come Election Day.
The proliferation of political sites on the Web is part of the reason the game was launched, according to Leslie Andrews, vice president of marketing at SmallWorld.com, New York.
It is because of the popularity of these sites, she said, that SmallWorld had no problem attracting talent. SmallWorld provides insider information and expert commentary from recognizable names such as Michele Mitchell, a CNN Headline News analyst. "They are looking to get involved in this because of the explosion of the Web in this area," Andrews said.
The grand prize is still in the works; however, it will probably be the chance to "be the president for a day." The winner would have his or her own Secret Service agent and private jet. Runners-up will receive a trip to Washington and Small World Prize Packs, which include a hat, T-shirt and water bottle. Weekly, politically themed prizes will also be given away.
SmallWorld put up a teaser site less than a month ago to educate people about the game and has already collected 12,000 names. It will send out an e-mail to its entire 1.5 million membership announcing the game's launch. It also is planning a major public relations push.