Political campaigns grow out of vision and ambition; they are electric in the early days as you assemble a team, rally around a message, and design logos, signs, and postcards. Before I knocked on a single door to meet an unfamiliar voter I had my positions published in our local paper, won endorsements, raised hundreds of dollars in donations, and performed well on a locally televised debate. And as my wife and I took to the streets of Stoughton the excitement of our progress cut through the chill of the Wisconsin winter air around us, and we anticipated a constituency that would share our excitement in my candidacy.
What we found was the humbling reality that people are busy and they do not owe you their time. To knock on a stranger's door and bombard them with campaign literature and the expectation of an open ear is a radical and aggressive action. The residents of Stoughton, throughout my four months of campaigning, were unreasonably gracious and supportive, and still I mostly left houses feeling like I had stolen minutes from people that they should have spent with their friends and loved ones, instead.
This was the awkwardness I wanted to capture in a video game - knocking on a stranger's door with the best intentions while quickly realizing that you owe it to their kindness to offer them the earliest possible opportunity to return to their regular life. I was incredibly fortunate to find five other train jammers willing to work with me toward that game.