Fantasy Politics Games Proliferate: Fanitics Launches This Month

May 16, 2012

11:00 am

Just last week we covered Fantasy Politics, a game that takes fantasy football to a whole new level.  Now we have Fanitics, a Facebook application that tracks presidential candidates, governors and Congressional members on metrics like media mentions, facts, fundraising, polling, bill tracking, Twitter followers, etc. It’s free to play and the rules are the same as for fantasy sports games. You can join a public league or create your own, where you can draft, trade and bench your players.

The premise for the Fanitics was born during a fantasy baseball game among JD Chang, the founder, and his friends, when somebody brought up an idea to play fantasy world leaders. JD got interested in taking a subject like politics and then gamifying it, so he decided to prove the concept with American politicians first. The market potential for this game is staggering.

“There are 60 million of professed political junkies in the US, with 2 million active on Facebook each day.  There are 90 million people that post political activity on Facebook. So, there are about 44 million probable Fanitics users,” said Chang.

Fanitics can be used not only as a game but also as a research platform. For example, if we use social media mentions metrics, we can see how many times a politician was mentioned in the news, and, more importantly, every mention is accompanied by a link to the original article. Isn’t this a super useful research tool for various academic projects?  As for the game, Chang explained, “If any politician appears in an article, they get one point. They appear in ten articles, they get 10 points.”

To confirm factual metrics, Fanitics pulls information from PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. “PolitiFact rated the statement by Governor Bob McDonnell saying that ‘US is recovering slower than Europe’ as false. For false statements, he gets negative five points.  President Obama on the other hand, recently said two things – one was mostly true and one was true – so, he scored 8 points.”

Fanitics is also a content aggregator, so you don’t even need to conduct searches on Google anymore.

Fanitics is launching this month and showcasing next week at TechCrunch Disrupt in NYC. They also plan on having parties and happy hours in Washington, DC, so keep your eye on them.

To learn more about this startup, check out their video below:

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Gulnara is passionate about technology and startups. Her goal is to make Washington, D.C. a vibrant startup playground. She is the Founder of and an Event Organizer for Weekly DC Nightowls Co-Working Sessions. Follow her on Twitter @Gulnara.

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