What happens when a “big fish” is swimming in the same direction? You work together!

Last Thursday I paid a visit to the Republik. The reason: Someone has had the same idea as me. After the meeting we can say: Two “super-likes” & “it’s a Match”! Together with the Head of IT Thomas Preusse, Software Engineer Patrick Venetz and my Mentor René Bauer we talked about the process, the similarities and the differences of our concepts.

What does this mean for Project CH+?

I was quite surprised when «Wahltindär» first appeared on my Twitter feed. At first it was a shock that I hadn’t been aware of this initiative – but now I am as optimistic as ever.

Because one thing is clear: The combination of games and political communication is well received by the public.

So, someone thought the same.

If you have been on this blog before, you know that I do not directly share my concept. The reason for that is that my idea is not yet complete and therefore not “protectable”. Concept sheets are only sent to people involved and the app is only given to testers. Except for a post with the title “Wahl-Tinder”, which was shared on Linkedin 3 months ago, the details of the concept were not shown to the public.

My CH+ concept is certainly not limited to combining the tinder element with politics. However, it would have been one of the innovation factors.

One week ago, I saw a retweet on my Twitter feed – with a very familiar idea.  

Linkedin Beitrag, Ende Juni 2019:
“Wahl-Tinder! Im Rahmen ihrer Masterarbeit an der @Zürcher Hochschule der Künste arbeitet Sophie an einem Game, dass junge Menschen im Herbst an die Urne bringen soll. […]”
Twitter Beitrag, 12. September 2019:
«Frühmorgendliches Wahltindärn mit der @RepublikMagazin. Smartvote einen Schritt weiter gedacht. Gefällt.»

My reaction looked something like this:

I had been in contact with everyone involved, so there was only one thing to do: I arranged a meeting with the Republik, the creators of Wahltindär.

With a bottle of Club-Mate, in the Sihlhallenstrasse 1, we talked about political communication and dating apps. Using the popular tinder swiping as a communication tool has become common practice in quite some areas. Drawing the connection to the parliament elections is relatively new. Within the Republik, the idea came from Thomas – a fantastic idea, as we laughingly agreed at the end of our meeting.  


So, Tinder with candidates does not only play a part in the concept of Project CH+. Even more important: Not only in Project CH+ people are interested in the gamification of political communication. With their Wahltindär, the Republik proves that the topic of a playful examination of political content is relevant in larger circles – and that the realization of the idea (example Wahltindär) is well perceived by most people.

Image: Republik «Wahltindär»

I am reading the discussion entries in the Republik while laughing with one eye and a crying with the other. On one hand I was “too slow” in developing my own concept, due to financial limitations. On the other hand, my theory is being approved: Gamification and political communication can work really well together.

Why this is a good thing

1) Wahltindär: Games for Democracy

The concept is received well – so we are on the right path. The notion “Games for Democracy” works.

2) The reach of Wahltindär

I am a “little fish”. My reach is still very limited – and my target audience also differs from the one catered to by the Republik. Right now, however, the Republik published something which has more reach than my concept could have had for these elections. To generate awareness for the parliamentary elections, the publication of this app is a very good thing. 

3) Separate in-depth test

The Tinder-mechanic is one aspect of my concept, which is now being evaluated through Wahltindär. Therefore, this is a point which I do not have to investigate in my own concept.

4) Games and political communication

During my travels through Switzerland I made the discovery that many game designers are politically interested – and many political experts use games as educational tools.

In my opinion, these two groups would benefit if they would work together more often. Maybe this is the beginning of a closer cooperation between our industries.

With the Republik, I am making a start.

The Republik

Since the Project CH+ prototype is tested in a smaller setting, Patrick and Thomas agreed that I could use some anonymized Wahltindär-data for my research. This additional data creates more validity for my research results.  

In October, Thomas, Patrick and I planned another meeting. I am curious to see what future exchange and cooperation will make possible.

Dear Thomas, dear Patrick, thank you for this exchange. I am looking forward to our next meeting!