Net Neutrality Blaster Starring Jeb!, available at the curious URL provenconservative2016.com, allows users to play as the Republican presidential hopeful. Bush has angered Internet activists by promising to destroy net neutrality, the premise that Internet providers aren’t allowed to choose who can access the Internet at full speeds, if he were to be elected president.
Gameplay is simple. Players control Bush, who wants more campaign cash. Each time he shoots a missile at things like streaming video and startups, he gets a little more campaign funding. Do it enough times, and you win—and your browser symbolically closes.
The game was created by a successful indie game developer, whose name we’re withholding at his request. “I make tons of games, and I’ve gotten all kinds of calls and death threats,” he told the Daily Dot. “I like to keep a low profile.”
Net neutrality has been a particularly hot topic in 2015. In February, the Federal Communications Commission finally used Title II of the Communications Act to essentially enshrine net neutrality rules, an issue that immediately became partisan—even though some of the conservative groups who opposed it clearly didn’t understand what net neutrality was.
“I made it because I think [Bush]’s stance is pretty stupid,” the developer said. “I was thinking it’s just a basic analogy—there’s all these things you can lose.
Net Neutrality Blaster Starring Jeb! isn’t, in fact, the first net neutrality video game. In April, a group of University of Utah graduate students created 404Sight, which explored the concept by having players literally have to run in slow and fast lanes while giant Comcast and Time Warner logos loom ominously in the sky.
Illustration by Max Fleischman