MTV wants to encourage young people to vote by giving them prizes. The cable network announced the summer launch of an online fantasy sports-inspired game, which rewards players for taking part in the forthcoming presidential election.
Similar to other fantasy sports games, players of Fantasy Election '12 can draft a team, the difference being that the line-up has to be politicians. Participants will earn points for registering to vote, watching debates, and for publicly supporting candidates. "This can be can be a crash course in what people should demand from those pursuing the privilege of elected office," MTV's vice president of public affairs, Jason Rzepka said of the game, which marks a collaboration between the network and technological, and philanthropic organizations, like Project Vote Smart. "There's a lot of young people who are at the beginning of their civic career. When you're 18 and you're voting for the first time, you don't necessarily know what you deserve from a politician."
In an attempt to stimulate serious presidential choices, the best candidates will be judged by their "value" in areas of fundraising, social media presence, and their stance on Projects Vote Smart's Political Courage Test—which measures their willingness to inform citizens of their stance on specific issues.
MTV's game doesn't sound as simple as Diddy's Vote or Die campaign, or Jay-z's 2009 ad where he encouraged young people to head to the polls, but it will be interesting to see the final outcome. President Obama, is also mindful of the coveted college vote, embarking on a three-city tour this week to push Congress to lower student loan interest rates, and will appear on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon tonight.
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