MTV has launched a Fantasy Football-style election game aimed at baiting young citizens into becoming civically active. In “Fantasy Election,” users compete for glory and prizes over who can predict which politicians will be the uber-public servant: popular in the polls, honest with constituents, engaging in social media, and choosing to communicate substance over style. “This can be can be a crash course in what people should demand from those pursuing the privilege of elected office,” said Jason Rzepka, MTV’s Vice President in Public affairs, who hopes to inspire a new generation of citizens who demand the best in politicians. Because we love you, we snagged 10 invite codes to the beta for our readers (instructions below). The public release will take place at the Republican National Convention at the end of August.
Much like its football inspiration, players assemble the hottest team and compete with their peers at local and national levels. In addition getting points for choosing politicians who perform well at the polls, MTV will be scoring on fundraising transparency, frequency of social media engagement, explicitly declaring their stance (which Mitt Romney has gotten in trouble for not doing on tax reform), and discussing substantive political issues. “There’s a lot of young people who are at the beginning of their civic career,” said Rzepka. “When you’re 18 and you’re voting for the first time, you don’t necessarily know what you deserve from a politician.”
While the Facebook app gets quite sophisticated (screenshot below), Rzepka says that users can play with minimal education, since their target is young users aged 18-29, who are just dipping their toes into civic life. As soon as we get more time to play around with the game, we’ll have a more thorough update. To get one of the 10 available invites, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject line, “TechCrunch 10”. If you’re one of the lucky 10, do let us know what you think in the comments or through our tipline.