When did you last check out your local newspaper? We’re willing to bet it’s been awhile.
When did you last check your Facebook feed? Five minutes ago? Sounds about right!
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These days, people claim not to have time for mundane things like reading the newspaper and voting, but in reality, it’s just not a priority for most of us. We’ve entered the age of instant gratification, and there rarely is anything instantly gratifying about the latest school board report or standing in line at the polls.
Could it be that we’re going about this all the wrong way? Perhaps when we make voting seem like a huge responsibility, we’re scaring potential voters away. Maybe, the solution is to make voting and other dreaded activities more exciting.
On Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Bee said the ultimate solution is to integrate the concept of gamification into areas we once thought impossible or even immoral.
For example: Why not gamify voting? If it convinces people to actually show up at the polls, it’s worth a try. Same goes for reading the newspaper. The promise of, say, a free lottery ticket just might convince people to subscribe and learn about current events in their community.
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This tactic appears to be working wonders in New Brunswick, where the struggling New Brunswick Today has captured a great deal of interest since incorporating an element of gamification into the way it does business.
Intrigued by the increasing role of gamification in everyday life, Bee chatted briefly with expert Gabe Zichermann, who believes that hedonism is the way to go. “People will always choose the most pleasurable option.”
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The coolest thing about tonight’s bit on Full Frontal was not that it offered up a new and valuable idea for increasing newspaper subscriptions, but that Samantha Bee went out of her way to aid the very important cause of local journalism. Her efforts could spur major change for newspapers such as the New Brunswick Today. Whether these newspapers make subscribing more like a game or just continue reporting on key issues, they provide an essential service that is best not ignored. Kudos to Bee for doing her part.
Do you think gamification could improve voter turnout and local newspaper subscriptions? Comment and share your opinion below.
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