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Can Gamification Help Fight Civic Apathy?

We wanted to share this post about a fun project called the CivCity Initiative that we found on the Gov 2.0 Watch blog, which is run by NCDD organizational member,the Davenport Institute. You can read it below or find the original here.


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The Engagement Game

We have written a fair amount about gamifying civic engagement. Mary Morgan and Dave Askins, publishers of the local Ann Arbor Chronicle in Ann Arbor Michigan have partnered with existing programs to gamify local storytelling and are now looking for ways to do more:

CivCity’s website and Twitter feed refer to the mission of “cracking the nut of civic apathy.” CivCity stakeholders say disinterest in governance has intensified in recent years due to increased demands on people’s time, and it’s especially bad at the local level–even in a well-educated town like Ann Arbor.

“I think we take a lot for granted,” says CivCity board member Linh Song. “The lifestyle here can be pretty comfortable… I think a lot of folks just kind of check out and think, ‘Well, you know, Ann Arbor kind of takes care of itself. We don’t have to pay attention.’ But I’m hoping that’s changing.”

Morgan and Askins have ideas for a wide variety of programs to help effect that change, but their fledgling organization is taking it one step at a time. One of CivCity’s first projects is an online game called CivCity Quest, expanding upon the way the Chronicle “gamified” election results last summer. CivCity Quest would use the AADL’s Summer Game template to create a “playful” online competition for players to participate in various civic activities, from doing neighborhood cleanup to attending public meetings.

You can read more here.

You can find the original version of this Gov 2.0 Watch post at http://gov20watch.pepperdine.edu/2015/04/the-engagement-game.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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