#WINNING? MTV Launching Fantasy Election Game To Engage Youth Voters
NEW YORK — When MTV executives began conducting research about 18 months ago for their 2012 youth vote campaign, the results were uninspiring.
Jason Rzepka, MTV’s senior vice president of public affairs, summed up the phenomenon as “election avoidance,” with young people appearing less likely to flock to registration sites and campaign offices than they did four years ago. MTV executives quickly realized that they would need more than “Choose or Lose,” their initiative of the last 20 years to engage the youth vote for this election. And “Boxers or Briefs?” wouldn’t cut it, either.
“We recognized if we were to do a conventional election program — PSAs, a website with how to register to vote — that wasn’t going to be enough,” Rzepka said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “We needed something that went beyond that that pulled people into this election, served them an on-ramp.”
MTV executives hope that “Fantasy Election 2012,” which takes its rules from fantasy sports and applies them to politicians’ behavior, will pull youth voters more into the political process.
Here’s how it works: Players and the other members of their league choose politicians, and lose or gain points based on their behavior, as judged by websites like PolitiFact.com and Project Vote Smart. When a politician performs poorly in the five categories — transparency, honesty, engagement, civility and public opinion — you lose points. When he or she performs well — for example, by posting a Facebook status or Twitter update to engage with his constituents — you gain points.
The gamification idea came after extensive research revealed how game culture has infiltrated most aspects of younger generations’ daily lives — from how many “likes” a picture got on Facebook to comparing who has more Twitter followers to use of phrases like “winning” or “fail.” MTV’s goal is to draw the already-politically minded of the 18-29 year-old demographic, but also those who might not otherwise keep up with the news or vote in the election.
MTV rolled out a beta version of Fantasy Election this week, but fully launches
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/07/mtv-fantasy-election-game-2012_n_1753469.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012
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