Fantasy Political League
A playful activity that aims to create a political discussion providing a fresh point of view in the post-truth area.
Disillusioned by the Brexit vote and the 2016 USA presidential elections, I wanted to tackle the post-truth era issues with a tool that will focus the political discussion on facts and performances. The Fantasy Political League is a lens that analyses political figures and actions through a tool used in football. Just like in the game of Fantasy Football, participants form teams of political players while following a simple set of rules. They can then follow the actions of their players and other people in the political world and may replace them according to their performances. This tool creates conversations that keep politicians' performances in constant discourse.
From zero to expert
The theoretical basis for this project was my BA dissertation “Invitation to Play” where I wrote about ways we can use fantasy worlds created by games to change our reality.
I chose to pursue football and the vast world created around it. Football creates communities, rivalries, common behaviour and language. I wanted to use the interaction with the game of football as the instrument to change the political conversation. During the course of this project, I fully immersed myself in these two worlds, becoming an expert and finding the friction points between the two. I explored how football can influence politics and used it to develop the Fantasy Political League. To frame it all, I formed my team - Guinea Pigs Political Team - followed the players, changed and replaced them and documented it all in a blog inspired by a football team’s website. When other political teams formed, I found the conversations around them to be the most enjoyable part of the process. It was insightful, both from the political standpoint and project development.
Learning everything I could about politics and football
Exploring the friction points between football and politics; finding ways football can influence the political discourse
Experimenting with the platform and the rules; testing and refining
The Fantasy Political League was exhibited in Hyphen, at the Truman Brewery in June 2017. I designed it to be displayed as an active invitation to play and to participate as this project's power was in the conversations it created.
I used a game of table football to create "fantasy foosball", dressing the little figures in kits of my political team against a blank red one. While playing foosball with people, I presented the players on my team, talked about the project and invited people to form a team of their own. It was great to meet people and talk about their selections!