History of Fantasy Congress

Claremont McKenna:
The birthplace of Fantasy Congress
According to the archives, Fantasy Congress began as the idea of Claremont McKenna College (CMC) student Andrew Lee while he was living with a roommate who was constantly preoccupied with fantasy football. Andrew was no stranger to fantasy sports, having played fantasy baseball. Impressed by the power of fantasy sports to engage and captivate their players, Andrew decided that someone needed to invent a fantasy sports game to challenge government aficionados and to attract average people to the world of politics. Andrew was obsessed with politics and thought that people could play some kind of "Fantasy Congress" to compete with colleagues and friends, populating their teams with real Senators and Representatives. Combining this premise with the strategy of line-up substitutions and trades, Andrew envisioned a game of knowledge and skill that anyone could play while also participating in national politics.

In late 2005, Andrew found himself despairing on a Thursday night because he lacked the technological wizardry to make his dream come true. In this moment, Arjun Lall and Ethan Andyshak came to the rescue. Bringing to bear their knowledge of computing, they told Andrew that his dream of involving individuals in the legislative process and the daily goings-on of Congress through computer simulation was possible, and even doable.

In the spring of 2006, Fantasy Congress™ was born and Arjun Lall recruited a fellow CMC student Ian Hafkenschiel to contribute to the glorious enterprise. Ian and Arjun developed their web programming skills in Professor Art Lee's Distributed Software Architecture course. These four titans of genius toiled through the summer and emerged with a beta version that was featured in the New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, and other major news sources. In developing the new version you see in front of you now, Ryan Wilson, a fellow Claremont McKenna stag and classmate of Arjun and Ian brought his creative mind to bear in fulfilling the mission of connecting people to Congress. They hope that this game and their continued efforts will give students, teachers, and government buffs (including Andrew, of course) a new level of engagement with the living, changing U.S. National Congress.

Looking to tomorrow, they hope to enhance Fantasy Congress™, adding new and more complex measures of political process, to create instructional packets for teachers and students of government, and to give their customers even more ways to "play politics."