PolitiFact and MTV team up for fantasy politics game
By Bill Adair
Published on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
PolitiFact is teaming up with MTV to create a fantasy politics game that will be powered in part by the Truth-O-Meter.
The game, "Fantasy Election '12," will allow players to select a team of candidates who are running for Congress or the presidency. Each team will earn or lose points based on measurements such as the accuracy of the candidates' statements, poll ratings, the transparency of their campaign finance reports and their willingness to give positions on key issues.
When a candidate's statement is rated on the Truth-O-Meter, players with that candidate on their teams will win or lose points depending on where the statement is rated on our scale from True to Pants on Fire.
The game, which is part of MTV's "Power of 12" campaign to inform and engage young voters, will be released this summer. Other partners include Knight Foundation, RealClearPolitics, foursquare, the Center for Responsive Politics, Project Vote Smart and the Wesleyan Media Project.
Here's MTV's explanation of how the game will work:
Similar to Fantasy Football, "Fantasy Election ‘12" enables users to draft a team of candidates pursuing the presidency or Congress, earning and losing points based on how their players behave in the real world. Users will also earn bonus points for real world actions like registering to vote, voting, and testing their political knowledge. Overall, success in the game will be based on two things: how candidates behave and what players do.
"How Candidates Behave"
In the way that Fantasy Football awards points when players score touchdowns and deducts points when they throw interceptions, "Fantasy Election ’12" will reward candidates for exhibiting behaviors voters deserve, and penalize politicians for behaviors that hurt our democracy.
Points will be earned via data piped into the game from the following partners:
PolitiFact: this Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization helps people find the truth in politics by examining politician’s statements and rating their accuracy on its "Truth-O-Meter." As candidates make statements on the campaign trail, players will gain/lose points based on their team’s truthfulness, which is rated on a scale from "True" to "Pants on Fire."
RealClearPolitics: the definitive political polling data aggregator, RealClearPolitics tracks the performance of virtually every candidate in every race. Candidates who do a good job of connecting with voters and see their polling numbers rise will earn points in the game, while politicians who see their polling numbers drop will be docked points.
Project Vote Smart: providing unbiased information on over 40,000 candidates and elected officials, Project Vote Smart tracks where candidates stand on key issues – from the economy and education to immigration and national security. MTV will reward candidates who complete Project Vote Smart’s acclaimed "Political Courage Test," making their positions known on the issues of greatest importance to American voters.
Center for Responsive Politics: The premier tracker of money in U.S. politics and its effects on elections and public policy, this non-profit research group runs the website OpenSecrets.org. MTV will give bonus points to candidates who openly disclose campaign funding sources as monitored by OpenSecrets.org, and dock points from candidates who aren’t transparent about that information.
Wesleyan Media Project: hosted at Wesleyan University, the Project enhances transparency by providing the only real-time, publicly available information on the content and targeting of all broadcast television advertisements aired by or on behalf of all federal election candidates in each of the nation’s 210 media markets. Scores based on the Project’s definitive advertising database will be provided to "Fantasy Election ’12." MTV will reward candidates for discussing issues rather personal traits. Additionally, MTV will deduct points from candidates who air an excessive amount of uncivil, personal ads.
Facebook and Twitter: MTV will also award points to candidates for engaging constituents via these world-class social media platforms.
"What Players Do"
Players of "Fantasy Election ‘12" will earn bonus points for getting informed on political issues and by engaging and participating in the political process. On foursquare and GetGlue, young people who "check-in" on their mobile devices to in-person town hall events, on-air political debates and to cast their ballots on November 6th will gain extra points. Additionally, players can earn bonus points by registering to vote via Rock the Vote’s simple registration tool. Points can also be gained by sharing the game and getting friends involved, or by participating in a series of daily challenges that will launch this summer.
Players who excel in "Fantasy Election ’12" will be eligible to win prizes ranging from tickets to MTV’s Video Music Awards to schwag and free downloads. The game, which will launch this summer, is being developed by HYFN, a renowned digital agency who has created social experiences for some of the most recognized brands in the world including Nike, Coke, Disney, Universal and more. The Knight Foundation is the principal funder of the game, providing a $250,000 grant.
More details on "Fantasy Election ‘12" will be announced this summer. For information on MTV’s "Power of 12" campaign and "Fantasy Election ‘12," or details on how to get involved, please visit www.Powerof12.org. To get updates on MTV's "Fantasy Election '12," and enter to be invited to play the game before it launches publicly, head to powerof12.org/fantasy-election.
News release from MTV
Researchers: Bill Adair
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