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Fantasy Congress was an online fantasy simulation sport where players, called citizens, could draft members of the United States House and Senate, and keep track of their participation within the U.S. Congress. Actions, especially within the process of making and amending pieces of legislation, of a player's drafted congresspersons were recorded and rated as a cumulative total amount of points against other players.
Fantasy Congress, which ran from 2006 to 2009, was meant to appeal to both recreational and educational players; it offered a wide range of links and research tools to help players in choosing their members of Congress whose activity their scores will derive from. The creators explained that the game could even work to make the government more accountable.
The premise of Fantasy Congress was originally developed by students at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. They came up with an idea for a game that would blend the trading and other gameplay of popular fantasy sports games with politics.
Points within Fantasy Congress were calculated based on "Legislative success" (including co-sponsored legislation and amendments), voting attendance, "Maverick Score" (the willingness of a member of Congress to cross party lines in close party votes), and noteworthy news mentions. Legislative success is the progress of a congressperson's sponsored or cosponsored legislation through the U.S. legislative process, all the way up to the President's signature or veto. Also, small legislative actions counted for points, such as amendments and changes to the legislation.
- Chang, Cindy (October 23, 2006). "Fantasy Sports? Child’s Play. Here, Politics Is the Game.". The New York Times (Washington, DC: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- Blancato, Joe (October 30, 2007). "Fantasy Congress". The Escapist. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- Venkataraman, Nitya (October 24, 2006). "Video Games, Internet Sites Going Political". ABC News. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "History of Fantasy Congress". Fantasy Congress. Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "How Do I Play?". Fantasy Congress. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2011.