Players in the board game “Clue” match suspects with locations and weapons to solve the murder of the fictional “Mr. X.” In the Washington,D.C.,version,players predict the outcome of the Chandra Levy disappearance,where she could be and how she got there.
The most popular theory thus far — Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) killed her in her Dupont Circle apartment to cover up his affair with the former intern,according to the website that sponsors the game.
Evote.com,which bills itself as the leading news,analysis and entertainment Web site for political junkies,lets users take a crack at solving,or at least theorizing,about where Levy,a 24-year-old from Modesto,Calif.,who's been missing since April 30,actually is.
Levy is rumored to have had an affair with Condit,but he is not listed as a suspect in her disappearance. D.C. police still consider this a “missing persons” case rather than a crime.
The majority of game assumes Levy was killed,but Evote leaves the option that she is willingly in hiding.
“While obviously we would love to have Chandra Levy show up alive and well,that’s really not the point of the game,” said Peter Markel,a senior producer for Evote.
So far,almost 90,000 people have played the scandalized version of “Clue” since its debut about three weeks ago.
Forty-four percent think Condit killed Levy. His wife is a distant second,with 18 percent of the vote; a “random street hood” follows with 9 percent.
Next in ranking is any one of Condit's staffers acting for him,who earned 8 percent of the vote. The final 21 percent belongs to others,such as a serial killer or Chandra herself.
So far,the results haven't surprised the staff of Evote,Markel said. He said nothing — short of a Condit confession — would change voting trends.
“I think at this point most folks are assuming that Condit ‘did it,' or at least is so involved in the scandal that he’s terminally tainted by it,” Markel said.
The majority of voters — 68 percent –believe the disappearance is related to covering up Levy and Condit's alleged affair. Fourteen percent attribute it to a pregnancy,while nine percent think it is just random violence.
The game has generated buzz at the Web site-in addition to the almost 90,000 votes,Evote has received more than 3,800 e-mails about it. The majority approve of the game,but 34 percent of the e-mails disapprove. One unnamed MSNBC producer wrote in to slam the site's coverage of Levy,Markel said.
“Positive reactions generally tended to focus on how funny the whole concept was,” Markel said. “Negative reactions decried our bad taste.”
So far neither the Levy nor Condit camp has weighed in on the game,but Markel said the site repeatedly requested a comment from Condit's office,only to get none.
“I'm guessing [the Condit and Levy camps] wouldn't be amused,” Markel said.
The staff at Evote is not rooting for Levy's demise,Markel said. Rather,the game is meant as a parody the police,the media and Condit's attempts to save his career.
“We also wanted to parody the whole police investigation itself,which is only slightly above a typical Keystone Kops movie,” Markel said. “We wanted to take a nice large poke at Gary Condit himself,who seems more focused on avoiding disclosures of his many extramarital adventures than in helping find the whereabouts of one of his more recent conquests.”
He said the site is used to reaction to its controversial features,which in the past skewered Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in a game that suggested housewarming gifts for her expensive D.C. home.
Evote plans to end the contest when the mystery is solved,“either by confession,court conviction or divine revelation,” according to the site. If several users tie with the correct answer,the site will host a random drawing for the prize-an Evote T-shirt and a political junkie gift basket.
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