Earlier this month, Madeline Marshall of the Wall Street Journal came out to interview me for a piece she’s doing on gerrymandering and the corrosive effects it can have on democracy. You can see the results here.
I may be on the splash image, but I’m only in it for a handful of seconds. If you’re the impatient sort, my part starts around the 3:46 mark.
Maddie lives in the DC area and flew out to Wisconsin to grab some interviews. Mark Spreitzer — who would be my assemblyman if not for the ridiculous way my house was carved out of my neighborhood by partisan gerrymandering — recommended she chat with me. Maddie landed in Chicago and picked up her mother, who lives there, to come along for the ride. She also pressed her into service as her camera assistant, which was honestly adorable.
We talked for about an hour about all sorts of things, occasionally waving at passing cars on my street. That seems long considering how little of that actually made it into the video, but as someone who works in all sorts of media, I totally understand. You have to grab as much as you can and trim it all down into whatever works best. In any case, I had a wonderful time chatting with Maddie and geeking out over things like games and craft beer.
Be sure to watch the video in full. Gerrymandering is one of the greatest assaults on our democracy, and Wisconsin’s playing a big role in it. A case about our troubles is going before the US Supreme Court next week, and the results are going to be vital. See this article at FiveThirtyEight.com for a summary, and the Wall Street Journal has a companion piece too.
Honestly, it’s things like this that make me think we could use more game designers with a strong sense of fairness in the legislature. People who know how to create something balanced, who can anticipate problem players and fashion a set of rules that works for everyone. That’s just a pipe dream, of course, but putting an end to partisan gerrymandering would be a good step in that direction.
Here’s hoping the court does the right thing.