|The new, virtual face of politics and government|
|Written by Erin Hogg, Daily Vidette Columnist|
|Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:17|
MTV seems to be something that is straying farther and farther away from its orginial intent. Programming of shows like “The Real World” to more recent shows like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” have turned the channel into something not even close to music television.
In election years, MTV is no stranger to delving into politics and campaigns designed to persuade young voters to go out and vote. This year, they think they have a new game changer.
Inspired by fantasy sports, MTV has designed an online game that mimicks fantasy football or baseball and allows users to earn points by building virtual teams of candidates and compete against other players. Points are awarded for being in the lead, fundraising transparency, social media, willingness to provide citizens their positions on key issues, and others.
MTV hopes that highlighting the most virtuous candidates will re-energize young voters, many of whom have become discouraged by the econmy and the Occupy protests.
All in all, this game will reward players for being informed about the 2012 elections. However, I can say that for myself and many other people, I don’t need to play a game to become educated about politicians and their opinions on issues I care about.
I’d like to say I’m a fairly politically educated student and with a minor in political science, I take pride in the fact that I’m interested in following politics, even if it is practically a circus at the moment.
For younger people, perhaps 18- and 19-year-olds, this might be a way to reach out to them. However, I don’t know many 18-year-olds that would want to squeeze some “Fantasy Election ’12” into their online activities.
Plus, who is to say that the information MTV will make available is accurate? There’s a chance some information could be altered or not mentioned that these young voters will never know if they don’t research it for themselves.
The culture in Washington is as broken and more partisan than ever, and many people who are not interested in voting cite distrust in the government. While there is no single solution to the problems American politics currently face, maybe people should be more focused on members of congress rather than the president. The president does not have nearly the amount of power that many people think to change a number of things, including Social Security, education, and Medicare. According to realclearpolitics.com, Congress has an approval rating of 14 percent.
With the amount of problems in Washington constantly compounding, it’s going to take much more than a game to get us engaged in politics. While many people do care and want to vote and take action, so many others are apathetic.
Maybe a game educating young people not just about politicians, but how lobbyists and congressmen work in their own interests, how politicians are endorsed by corporations, or how perhaps our unrealistic expectations for President Obama set the American people up for failure, will help them learn more effectively. Most people can say they are unhappy with the government, but not why they are unhappy.
By educating young voters on what has happened in Washington in recent times, they might be more inclined to do more outside research on candidates and take more action to reverse the endless cycle of uneducated voters who do not know the true issues at hand.