Vizatellum (the name is a joke that resembles the way Italians named the election law, Rosatellum, after his proponent Ettore Rosato) is an interactive newsgame that helps you understand how the Italian Parliament should be composed in order to discuss and regulate the most relevant policies according to the user’s preferences (and, hopefully, in order to get a government).It was created to help Italian users/voters discovering the real and official political programs of the main parties/coalitions involved the last political campaign that was strongly based on promises, slogan and propaganda. The newsgame is based on a fictitious electoral system created from the real political measures and proposals written in the official programs presented by the main political forces and parties during the 2018 political campaign.There are two main levels of the game: in the first part you choose 5 out of 10 main themes that YOU consider as priorities for the Country and that you would insert in your ideal political program. In the second part you have to choose, for each theme, which is the best policy or proposal to improve the situation related to that theme.Please note that the policies and proposals refer to the REAL policies and proposals advanced by the main political parties and forces, but you cannot know at this stage who proposed what. The result is a visualization of your Ideal Parliament based on your Ideal Program.The newsgame turns the main political programs – proposed during the 2018 Italian political campaign – into data that users can pick as answer to the most urgent issues and questions politics has to address. With the datagame Viz&Chips wanted to create awareness on the concrete policies and measures rather than the promises and propaganda pushed by the political forces in order to get votes. The newsgame is in Italian and it has been translated in English only for DJA purpose since the subject is too much related to the Italian context (yet, you can play the role of an Italian cityzen and enjoy building up your Ideal Parliament composed by the political forces that could enhance your ideal program).
What makes this project innovative?
During a political campaign is common for newspapers or data teams to publish newsgames to engage users/voters. However, most of them tell the user which party he or she is nearer to rather than letting the user discover the political programs and being informed in a possible neutral way: the innovation in our project is turning the official electoral programs into piece of data that, combined together, can visualize a personal Parliament composition. We red the programs as they were excel files using the bullet points as traces to set the answers the user can pick up to adress the political issue of the Country. The result is a visualization that let you discover step by step some of the most relevant positions of the parties and political forces running within the campaign.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Released few days before the Elections (March 4th) the newsgame was played by more than 16,000 users in Italy in 5 days thanks just to the social media spreading (fb reach: 19,400 users) and made news on national news outlets (such as Il Sole 24 Ore http://www.infodata.ilsole24ore.com/2018/03/02/vizatellum-puoi-creare-parlamento/). Here you have the counter vizandchips.com/Vizatellum/cnt.php. On February 27th 2018, the first day of publication, we set also a Facebook adv campaign from our official page that has around 800 likes. Here you can read the original post https://www.facebook.com/vizandchips/posts/1810350355702176). THe adv lasted until March 4th. We got a total coverage of 19,485 visualizations on Facebook (14,968 organic and 5279 paid). We monitored also the comments of the users that were quite enthusiastic.The counter is still on and growing. Many users commented the newsgame as useful in order to better understand if their political views are really represented by the political force they like/sustain basing on the real measures/policies not just the political promises.
Source and methodology
We have considered the programs published on the Italian Minister of Intern by the main political forces and coalitions running for the 2018 National Elections. For “main” we mean those that, according to the polls released until February 17th 2018, are likely to reach the 3% threshold to actually get into the Parliament. We have chosen a rose of themes - such as Immigration, Health, School etc.. etc… - discussed in the programs and we have compared the proposals of every political party/coalition for each theme. In order to compare the data, we assigned to each theme and policy/proposals a relevance value from 1 to 3. Please, pay attention! Not all the theme have the same weight for each party/coalition. Basing on the political programs and the media political campaign we have assigned a value that shows the priority given by a party/coalition to each specific theme. The result is given by the specific themes you have chosen and by the answers you have given to address the most important issues related to those specific themes, weighed according to the party/coalition relevance assigned to the themes: therefore, even when a user doesn’t choose any policy/proposal of a specific party/coalition, tha Ideal Parliament can show a minimum percentage of that specific party/coalition if that theme is particularly relevant in the program presented by the party/coalition. By clicking on your Ideal Parliament you can also find out which political force proposed a specific measure and you can read the complete official political program thanks to the link below (only in Italian).We want to specify that Vizatellum doesn’t use polls data or statistical projections to estimatethe composition of the future Italian Parliament. The aim of the newsgame is to let the users know which coalitions/forces should work together to discuss and regulate the political program as chosen by the users themselves.
Angular js (frontend development)PhP/MySQL (backend)7
Stefano Pistillo, backend developerLudovico Dellavecchia, frontend developer (main dev of the project)Silvio Pili (intern, data journalist and political program analyst)Fabio Fogli (data scientist and data analyst)