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    'Nasty Populists' Run Over 'by a Train': New SPD Computer Game Causes Criticism

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    The new computer game "Schulz Train" was developed in Germany to promote the Social-Democratic Party (SPD) among young voters. The main game character, Martin Schulz, currently a candidate for Chancellor, runs over his political opponents in a train and collects EU stars for defeating "nasty populists."

    According to the scenario of the game, the animated "Martin Schulz" drives his own locomotive to the desired post of Chancellor. However, on his way he has to overcome certain barriers and challenges.

    As the description of the game says, "nasty populists" try to block his way, which is why the game player has to run them over. For each killed politician, the player receives a bonus in the form of "EU stars" or so-called "Schulz coins."

    By populists, the game creators apparently mean US president Donald Trump and the chairman of the "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) party Frauke Petri. They also didn't forget to create a prototype of Russian President Vladimir Putin whose animated version appears with a bare chest, sitting on a bear.

    According to the instructions, the process of running over digital politicians delivers "unlimited pleasure" to the game players (literally: "pleasure without brakes").

    The game, developed during a programing marathon initiated by the SPD, can be downloaded by users of Android devices, and in the future will be also available for iOS.

    The "Schulz Train" has already been tested by several German politicians. For example, this video shows how the SPD party's Secretary General Katarina Barley triumphantly runs over the animated US president Donald Trump.

    ​"Secretary General @katarinabarley amuses herself by playing "Schulz Train", moving forward to the post of the Chancellor and diligently gathering "Schulz Coins".

    It also seems that Martin Schulz himself likes the game, too, as he earlier thanked the developers on his Twitter account.

    ​"In Berlin, some crazy people from Hackathon develop programs for my election campaign day and night. I talked to them on Skype. Thank you very much! I wish you much energy!

    However, not all politicians have reacted positively to the newly developed game. For instance, some CDU representatives do not consider the game to be funny.

    "Run over people? Seriously? Do Dreyer, Lewentz and @spdrip also find it funny?"

    CDU deputy chairman Julia Klöckner noted in her Twitter account that the SPD party would be the first to cry out loud, if representatives of the other parties would have allowed themselves such a joke:

    ​"The sense of humor is good, but we all know how much noise our colleagues from the SPD would have made, if  other parties would start running over people in a game just for fun!"

    AfD Vice-President Beatrix von Storch didn't even believe that such a game could really exist.

    "Is this fake news? Or does such a SPD game exist really? And whoever crushes Trump and Petri on Schulz's train gets the points?"

    The reaction of ordinary Internet users was also far from positive.

    For instance, Twitter user named Dat Eichkaterson wrote: "The Schulz train has no brakes"

    A man named Niklas Schneider reacted in the following way:

    "@ swr3 (SWR3 radio station), financed by our taxes, finds it terribly funny when the Schulz train #schulzzug runs over people. Sooo fun."


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    populism, computer game, SPD, Germany
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