Nothing is more American than turning lemons into lemonade, even if the lemonade is tart.
Addicting Games churns out 50 free online games every month. Recently, it created a popular new game category called "NewsGames", based on stories ripped from the headlines, just like Law & Order! But more fun!
The latest game in this category is called "Where's the Naughty Governor?"
It focuses on five politicians who've seemingly blown it so stupendously that you wonder if they might eventually star together in a reality TV show: "I was a Presidential Hopeful, Get Me Outta Here!"
To play "Where's the Naughty Governor?", you have to collect clues and "then pinpoint the location of your wayward representative."
It's like Where's Waldo, only seedier.
First, there's the quest to find Naughty Mark Sanford.
"Oh Mark," the game declares, "we knew lovers and dreamers should never run for office, but no one told you."
The clues include a steamy email and a reporter's microphone, before you find Sanford himself.
Then you search for Naughty Eliot Spitzer("Nobody liked you when you were enforcing the rules, but at least they respected you").
There's Naughty Jim McGreevey, and Naughty John Edwards, who wasn't a governor, by the way. On the Edwards site, I had a hard time finding the DNA test tube clue. Finally, there's Naughty Sarah Palin("OMG, Sarah, you're freaking us out!").
So far, more than 300,000 people have played the game since it launched last week. More than 16,000 people played yesterday alone. The company's PR rep tells me each new game takes a couple of weeks to create, at a cost of less than $10,000. I have to admit, they are addictive. Other Addictive Gamesinclude "Hero on the Hudson", where you try to land a jetliner on the water like Sully (I failed). There's also "Trillion Dollar Bailout" and "Baseball Juiced". The company claims these NewsGames have generated 8 million game plays since January, which means a lot of people at work aren't working.
Now that's naughty.
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