Sick of the same old people running for office in the same old ways? Why not do something about it by drafting your political dream team with "Fantasy Election '12"?
Part of MTV's Power of 12 election-year campaign, the first-of-its-kind mobile and desktop game will give young voters a new way to hold presidential and congressional candidates accountable as they draft a dream team of politicians. Players will earn and lose points based on how their candidates behave in the real world.
The best part? Draft the best team and you get a chance to win $25,000, tickets to the MTV 2012 Video Music Awards, laptops and iTunes gift cards.
Score a huge debate slam-dunk, release a nasty negative add? Your numbers will move up or down based on real-world data provided by a number of non-partisan organizations tracking five key areas: constituent engagement, honesty, transparency, civility and public opinion.
How do your players earn points? Based on information from PBS NewsHour and CQ Roll Call on presidential and congressional candidates, their stock can go up for town halls, tele-town halls, press availabilities and other key ways they make themselves available to answer the questions posed by voters. MTV will also award points for engagement on Facebook and Twitter and for players who share political news they find on sites like BuzzFeed and Politico.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checkers at Politifact will help determine points lost and gained based on the truthfulness of candidates' statements on the campaign trail and MTV will offer up bonus points to candidates who openly disclose campaign funding and dock points for those who don't.
Nobody said politics was pretty, but we'll also award points based on how well candidates focus on the issues instead of making personal attacks in their ads. Then again, we'll deduct points from the ones who air an excessive amount of uncivil, personal attack ads.
Lastly, RealClearPolitics will help us track which candidates do a good job of connecting with voters and as their poll numbers rise they'll earn points in the game. As they fall, well, they're going to lose points.
The rules are pretty simple: you create a league consisting of 5-12 participants and a build a dream team of candidates by either picking them yourself or letting the app do it for you. Drop those who are tanking and pick up ones who are winning with voters for telling the truth and keeping it clean, with candidate drafts taking place each Saturday. The first round of official game play will kick off on September 10. The whole thing takes less than a minute a week and by the time the season is over, you're likely to know more about the "players" on your fantasy team than your parents.
With 45 million 18-29 year-olds eligible to vote in the November 6, 2012 election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country, "Fantasy Election '12" will get those voters in the game by offering up bonus points based on how involved you get in the election. Points will be racked up based on how informed you become on the issues and by how much you engage and participate in the political process, or by how frequently you share the game and get friends involved on sites like foursquare or GetGlue.
You can also earn bonus points by signing up for an Election Day reminder from Rock the Vote, sharing the game with friends or by participating in a series of daily challenges that include questions from MTV's "Rapper or Republican" and "Democrat or Diva" series. Serious players will be eligible for daily prizes starting next week that range from a grand prize "Fantasy VMA Weekend" including a trip for the winner and three friends to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards along with $25,000 cash. Other prizes range from $10,000 cash, to big screen TVs, home theater systems, Lenovo IdeaPad Ultrabook laptops, iTunes gift cards and discounts to Amazon.com, with a total of 3,000 giveaways between next week and the election.
Among the other organizations helping the project: Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org, Project Vote Smart, Wesleyan Media Project, HYFN, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.