NYCC 2019: Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary Interview

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Full Frontal'$ Totally Unrigged Primary
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 05: (L-R) Adam Werbach, Samantha Bee, Erin Ryan, and Razan Ghalayini pose backstage at the “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” panel during New York Comic Con 2019 at Jacob Javits Center on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for WarnerMedia Company)

WARNING. This article contains several mentions of the “p” word. That’s right: politics. Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary is a mobile game based on American politics and the primaries for the 2020 Presidential Election. There will be lots of political words like “primaries”, “voting”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, and “jazz”. If those scare you, then skip this article! Save yourself! Maybe read this one instead. Or this one

Samantha Bee stopped by New York Comic Con earlier this month to discuss her new mobile game. The game, Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary, is a mobile game that will give your candidate of choice fat stacks of cash from “Samantha Bee’s Political Swear Jar” as a donation to their presidential campaign if they win the highest number of points. The Political Swear Jar is a PAC-controlled fund created through Democracy Engine.

“It’s like Fantasy Football meets HQ [Trivia],” says Bee.

Bee stresses that the mobile game will be completely unbiased. If the candidate you support has the highest amount of points, whether it’s Steve Bullock or John Hickenlooper (he’s still running?), all of the cash from Bee’s fund will go to that candidate. Period.

Even if THAT political candidate wins? Yes, even then. 

So, how does it work? Each morning when you wake up ready and refreshed to start the day, Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary will have daily challenges you can go through to win your candidate some points. You can get points through daily trivia, jokes, and donations to Samantha Bee’s Political Swear Jar. 

Each challenge you complete will gain points for the candidate you are supporting. If you decide to switch candidates during the game, your points go with you to that candidate. So, for example, if you were originally playing for a candidate that is now endorsed by David Duke, you won’t have to stick with them throughout the game! Or in real life.

“You’re actually going to learn a lot about the candidates and their plans and what’s happening,” says Adam Werbach, product manager for Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary, about the daily challenges. “You’re forced to interact with it because there are questions you are responding to.”

Werbach comes to this mobile game with experience. He led the product team that developed Full Frontal’s first mobile game, This is Not a Game: The Game. The app ended up with over 400,000 downloads and was rated the number one quiz game on the Apple App Store. No big deal. It’s whatever. 

Full Frontal'$ Totally Unrigged Primary
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 05: Razan Ghalayini (L) and Adam Werbach speak onstage at the “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” panel during New York Comic Con 2019 at Jacob Javits Center on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for WarnerMedia Company)

Razan Ghalayini, segment director at Full Frontal, says Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary will operate differently than Samantha Bee’s This is Not a Game“With our first game, it was very much an appointment-based trivia game,” says Ghalayini. “We discovered that it was very hard to have everyone log in at the same time. So, we decided to make it where you can play anytime.” 

You’ll be able to access past challenges in the game as well. If you miss a few days, it’s no big deal. Ghalayini says this will come in handy towards the end of the competition when you’re trying to get more points for your candidate. 

Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary works hand in hand with the changing news cycle. Depending on how things will go these next few months, the mobile game can adjust where needed.  “Fortunately, because the game is a literal primary, it is completely attuned to being reactive to the news cycle,” says Bee about the mobile game. “So, we have the ability to change and develop as we go.”

Full Frontal'$ Totally Unrigged Primary
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 05: Samantha Bee speaks onstage at the “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” panel during New York Comic Con 2019 at Jacob Javits Center on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for WarnerMedia Company)

Bee also says Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary will become more competitive when more candidates drop out.  “At the end of the game, there’s going to be a huge pot of money and it’s going to go to the person – this is truly unrigged – so, whoever wins the game gets this giant check,” says Bee. “And you are a part of that.” 

Samantha Bee cannot stress enough that, although this game will be a chance to learn more about politics, this game is also dumb. Like, the satirical comedy dumb we all know and love. “Don’t take the information part too seriously,” laughs Bee. 

Of course, the team behind this mobile game hopes the people who play it become actively involved with the voting process. Not only in the upcoming presidential election but also in local politics. Bee says this game is more personal because of what’s at stake.  “We’re coming at it from a much more organic place,” says Bee. “What can we learn from this?… We are organically and authentically interested in what the outcome of this is.” 

Bee says Full Frontal’$ Totally Unrigged Primary will be available for mobile devices late October. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee airs Wednesday nights at 10:30/9:30c on TBS.