In comments on a recent post about the Citizens of Virtue ARG, my friend Teeuwynn Woodruff points out that the game is meant to support Jesus Wants to Save Christians, a new book by Rob Bell and Don Golden. She also directed me to a fresh blog post that explains it all.
Ironically, on the same day, the über-political-polling site FiveThirtyEight.com posts an article that mentions the other Rob Bell, a friend from the days I worked a lot with ICE. (Rob edited Western Hero, the very first roleplaying game book I wrote entirely on my own, all the way back in 1991.)
In it, the chair of the Republican Party in Albemarle County (home of Charlottesville, Virginia, where ICE still is),”credits Virginia Delegate Rob Bell with an incredibly disciplined and thorough approach to voter database maintenance.” He also says, “Delegate Bell wrote the precinct captain manual that is now used all over Virginia.”
It doesn’t surprise me at all that the Rob I know went from editing a rigorous game system like Champions to figuring out how to win at politics—and then to writing a book about it. Some people joke about what could happen if gamers used their skills in the real world. People like Rob (and my pal John Nephew of Atlas Games—who gave me an Al Franken button at Gen Con!) are actually doing it.