Using Video Games to Encourage Gen Z to Vote

Using+Video+Games+to+Encourage+Gen+Z+to+Vote

Oscar Serrano-Flores, Journalist

This year, people have voted for the first time because they were born in the years of Generation Z (those who were born between 1997-2012/2015). The reason why they were first time voters was because the majority of them may have been gamers and have been inspired by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or (AOC) and Rep. Ilhan Omar. 

Congresswoman AOC turned to the streaming platform “Twitch” and video game “Among Us” which has been recently blowing up in the past few months on Twitch. AOC saw this opportunity to promote voting in this year’s election by streaming the video game Among Us on October 21st, 2020 with streamers/Youtubers Myth, Dr. Lupo, Pokimane, Hasan Piker, Disguised Toast, Corpse Husband, and many more. Throughout the stream, she kept getting more and more viewers until it got to a point where she had 439,000 viewers making it one of the most viewed streams in Twitch.

AOC kept mentioning to her viewers throughout her stream to vote for this year’s election. Since she went to stream in Twitch it was a perfect streaming platform to stream because the average age of twitch viewers were 21 making it the perfect platform for streaming and spread the word to vote for this year’s election. AOC wasn’t a stranger to video games or anything but in-fact was a huge fan playing a video game called League of Legends or LoL for short. She first started announcing that she has played and loved the multiplayer online battle arena video game in 2018 throughout 2020 in which she posted in her instagram story that she has reached Silver IV in LoL.

Though this wasn’t the first time politicians have used video games to support voting in the election there have been more politicians that have used video games. While the 2012 election was about to begin, the 44th president Barack Obama has played Burnout Paradise to spread the message of voting. 

Barack Obama along with AOC weren’t the only ones that promoted voting, Hillary Clinton has also promoted voting by also playing video games like Second Life to also spread the word to vote in the 2016 election and promote themselves to vote for in the election. The democratic-candidate Joe Biden has also promoted the word to vote by playing “Animal Crossing” another game that has also been blowing up on Twitch this summer. Many of these companies have made video games to either support one of the candidates or have been for some time and politicians have seen this as an opportunity to spread the word out to vote like AOC. 

Although she kept reminding people to vote, she has also included at the end of her stream “go to iwillvote.com and have your voting plan together….. and let us participate in this election and save our democracy.” As she ended her stream she has also said “for those who can’t vote tell anyone in your family who can vote to vote and participate in this election.” Many of the people watching the stream took this message seriously and got out to vote while others didn’t although we don’t know how many viewers actually participated we know that the majority of people who voted in this election were first-time voters and were a part of Gen Z(1997-2012/2015). 

Although the stream ended, many people are going to VOD(Video On Demand) on Twitch and inspired more people to vote and participate in this year’s election. Even though many people did not watch the stream, many people did watch it from other streamers that joined her and have at least more than what her stream viewers had in her own streamers.

In conclusion, throughout the years when there has been a conflict with politics or social problems, many video game developers have tried to spread the word of many things like voting, BLM, and many more. Although this article was about the election, it was also about video games and how their creation helped fight throughout the social problems and encourage other people to do something about the election like voting of course. This election would not be as successful if it weren’t for politicians playing these video games and gaining attention to the political topic that is being introduced in the news like the election and early voting. This has been a success to Congresswoman AOC as she has also got help from major streamers such as Myth, Dr. Lupo, Pokimane, Hasan Piker, Disguised Toast, Corpse Husband, etc. and from Rep. Ilhan Omar made sure that everyone will participate in this year’s election. AOC finished her stream strong and always reminded her viewers about voting and how this will affect our democracy.