The web is full of year-end retrospectives. Gameological has the only one that you can play. We invited four indie development teams to make a browser game inspired by a major news story from 2012, with two weeks to bring their game from concept to reality. And now you get to experience the results. Don’t just remember the year. Play The Year.

SUPER DEBATE 20XX

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Modern presidential debates have been reduced to a verbal sparring match. The candidates prepare “zingers” and defuse controversy with a familiar, limited set of “safe” talking points. At the end of each 90-minute session, anchors and pundits consult their scorecard and tell America which Oval Office hopeful earned the most debatin’ points. It’s like a playground game for the highest office in the land.

Super Debate 20XX lets you play that game of presidential roshambo. In order to become leader of the free world, all you need to do is construct the perfect argument. If he argues rock, you argue paper. If he says that only a strong scissor initiative will get this country’s economy back on track, you counter that our founding fathers believed in the lasting power of rock. Make your point effectively, and electoral success will be yours—because who is going to vote for that scissor-using buffoon?

How to play: Press 1, 2, or 3 to throw rock, paper, or scissors, respectively. Your opponent will argue first. Counter his argument—ties go to your opponent, because nobody likes a copycat—and then offer up your own. If the other guy can’t answer back, you win the point. (More detailed instructions are available in-game.)

About the developers: Super Debate 20XX was created by Peter Malamud Smith and John Lynch.

Smith is editor of Nerve and singer/guitarist for The Aye-Ayes. With Charlie Hoey, he co-created The Great Gatsby For NES.

Lynch is a teacher in Chicago who began making video games in 2009, having decided that if he was never going to outgrow them, he could at least learn something in the process.

THERE’S MORE—KEEP PLAYING THE YEAR!