Fantasy Football Meets Politics in MTV’s ‘Fantasy Election 12′

Millions of people love fantasy sports, online leagues where you play the roles of owner and coach — making trades, picking which players to start and, hopefully, winning your league. Now, MTV wants to tap into the popularity of fantasy sports to engage youth voters with the 2012 election through its new game, Fantasy Election ’12.

Fantasy Election ’12 works just like a fantasy sports league with a political twist: players join a league and draft politicians instead of players.

Players’ politicians rack up points through five good governance metrics: constituent engagement, honesty, transparency, civility and public opinion. Those metrics are tracked by non-partisan organizations including PolitiFact, FactCheck.org and RealClearPolitics. Until Election Day, players will have the option to add, trade or drop candidates based on their performance along those metrics every week.

The game is a part of MTV’s “Power of 12″ campaign, the network’s effort to get its millennial generation audience engaged with the 2012 election.

“Building on MTV’s nearly 20-year Emmy and Peabody Award-winning political legacy with ‘Choose or Lose,’ MTV’s ‘Power of 12′ campaign is built specifically to reflect the Millennial generation and changes in the economic and political climate, and is designed to empower them to have a major impact on Election Day and beyond,” said MTV in a release. “45 million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in the 2012 election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country.”

Accordingly, players can earn bonus points for their team by checking in to campaign events on FourSquare and GetGlue, committing to voting via a pledge to Rock the Vote, or by answering youth-themed quiz questions about politics. Politico.com and BuzzFeed are also adding Fantasy Election ’12 buttons to their content, and players who read or watch stories on those sites will get themselves extra points.

Why should millennials want to spend their time playing Fantasy Election ’12? The prizes, of course: the grand prize winner gets a trip for four to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards along with $25,000 cash. Additional prizes include $10,000 in cash, big screen TVs, laptops and other winnings. There will be lots of small prizes to encourage engagement as well, with a handful of people winning Amazon discounts or iTunes gift cards every week.

Ready to play Fantasy Election ’12? Signup starts Monday to coincide with the Republican National Convention and continues through Oct. 20. Players will need between four and 11 other players in their league, and gameplay commences on Sept. 10.

Will you play Fantasy Election ’12? Is a game an effective way to engage youth in politics?

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