A Mirror Up to Nature

In 2012, Indian politics saw the birth of a new political party. Led by Arvind Kejriwal, an activist with zero political lineage, the party was called ‘Aam Aadmi Party’. In Hindi, ‘Aam Aadmi’ means ‘Common Man’ or, with a creative finesse - ‘Insignificant Man’.

We, the makers of SHASN, saw the birth of this political party behind closed doors, right from their headquarters in New Delhi. We made a documentary called ‘An Insignificant Man’ that charted Arvind Kejriwal’s rise from the very start in 2012, all the way to his victory in the 2015 State Elections, that brought him and his party to the seat of Chief Minister.

From the workings of this party, we came to understand the finer mechanics that underlie the electoral process. We came to understand what resources are wielded and how, and when, and by whom.

In SHASN, we wanted to create a strong relationship between our game mechanics and the electoral process that we saw up close through the making of ‘An Insignificant Man’. But here’s the catch - game mechanics can be quite discrete, easier to quantify, clearer to pick apart. Politics and elections, on the other hand, are far more complex and for more shape-shifting. Political characters are far more dynamic than well confined tokens of a game. They are fascinating, provocative, larger than life - and hard to pin down clearly.

In SHASN, each component is designed to make you feel like you are in the middle of a hotly contested election. This was our aim - to hold a mirror up to the electoral process, and have some cut-throat fun along the way.

For example: one of our components is a deck of policy questions. How you answer the policy question will determine which political personality you are closer to.

From gallery of zainmemon

Did you answer like a commercially minded capitalist might? Or did you answer like the ever-moral idealist? Bit by bit, answer by answer, you go deeper into the shoes of your unique brand of politics. Each policy answer is an ingredient in the persona you are taking on.




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