Over the last two decades, gaming has slowly but steadily become one of the most consumed forms of entertainment. The New Georgia Project has teamed up with folks like Curren$y, Karen Civil and Tina Knowles Lawson in an effort to utilize that popularity as a force for change.
“Twitch The Vote,” will be a 12-hour livestreaming event that takes place during Election Day. The stream will be hosted by Karen Civil, Erin Simon, Ivy Rivera and several others, and will also feature performances from rappers like Dave East and Curren$y. The stream will include numerous influencers and esports players such as Spawn On Me, Aerial Powers, and Lord Beezus, and games will include Among Us, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Madden. Nse Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project, will host panels that will provide information to encourage first-time voters to head to the polls.
“So here’s our theory of change. The idea is that if we want to change elections, and democracy and who shows up and participates, then we have to change culture,” Ufot told The Root. “So with the recognition that over half of gamers are women and femme, that 75 percent of U.S., households have a gamer in it, that 75 percent of Black men and boys identify as a gamer, this felt like an organic place to meet people and have conversations about the important things that matter in our lives.”
Ufot, who’s eyeing the PS5 like so many of us, is excited at the opportunity to use gaming as a way to reach voters all over the country. “The idea behind the first Twitch the Vote activation was, how do we spend time together on election day? How do we bring in gamers as citizens?” Ufot said. Ufot has said her time spent gaming this year has helped her get through whatever you call the unique slice of hell that’s been 2020.
This isn’t the first time the New Georgia Project has dipped into the gaming well, either. Ufot said that last year, the organization hosted a game jam. The organization boarded up in a facility for 72-hours, with all three meals and snacks provided for participants. The teams, composed of engineers, designers, voting rights advocates, and legal scholars were tasked with designing games meant “to demystify how campaigns work, how elections work, how government works.” They had over 150 people participate.
The organization has plans to continue using gaming as a voter outreach tool in its future endeavors. Ufot hopes that once the pandemic hopefully subsides, they can include gaming as a part of their in-person meetings.
“Getting on the front page of Twitch doesn’t seem like it’s going to lead to electing the leader of the free world. But it totally makes sense in our mind,” Ufot said. Considering the national reach the platform will give the Georgia based organization, I’m inclined to agree with her.
If you want more information on how to participate, go to the official website for “Twitch the Vote.” You can also follow them on their Twitch page to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the events.