THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Rock the Vote has been encouraging young Americans to participate in US elections for over 30 years, but for 2020, the organization is getting involved in the hit PC game Minecraft to reach out to even more first time and future voters.
'Build the Vote' is a digital initiative via Minecraft which invites Americans to learn how to vote, and the experience of voting for the first time. Rather than voting on the basis of candidates or parties, users will be asked to vote on 10 key issues, including gun control, criminal justice reform, healthcare, climate change, racial equality, education, immigration, employment, student loans and combatting corruption.
The Minecraft world which 'Build the Vote' has created simulates the experience of participating in a real election, from registering to vote all the way to actually casting a ballot. The world, which is open now, will close on October 30, when the results of the poll will be published.
Explaining the decision to turn to Minecraft, Carolyn DeWitt, President and Executive Director of Rock the Vote, said that "For the past 30 years, Rock the Vote has been building the political power of young people by meeting them where they are through trusted messengers. We're continuing this work for the next generation at a time when they are hearing about the election, but are not yet eligible to vote so that when they do turn 18 and become eligible they are more prepared to participate in our democracy."
Jonathan Lavoie, ACD at Sid Lee, the company partnering with Rock the Vote on the project, added that "For many young and future voters, the voting process can be seen as intimidating and complicated. We wanted to find a creative way to educate and empower these voters with a playful approach, in a universe they already engage in."
To find out how you, or someone you know, can take part in the project, a YouTube tutorial is available showing you how to download Minecraft, and how to access the Build the Vote server.