It may come as a surprise to at least a few gamers out there, but the launch of the Xbox
360 Election Hub is now up and active. But will anyone be paying attention? There are actually good reasons to do so.
The Xbox 360 Election Hub will contain a wide variety of content, including interviews from the convention floor, information about voter registration for those who already haven't thanks to Rock the Vote, election news, daily polls from YouGov and more besides. As is commonly the case with Xbox 360, some of the content will be available to regular users, while large portions of it will be behind the Xbox Live paywall.
While many gamers may not think too much about their political leanings--and the content certainly isn't a help, the poll for today revolved around movies coming out this weekend and whether Lawless or The Possession was slated for a user's individual viewing this weekend, it's in their best interest to do so. It's also in Microsoft's
to have this up in the first place.
The media image of gamers isn't exactly positive. So if Microsoft can gin up a little "social responsibility" credit by helping to "educate the youth" about their political choices, well, that just improves things. Additionally, the content isn't exactly deep. Aside from that unlikely poll there's also a little MTV segment called "Rapper or Republican" in which respondents try to tell if some quote was generated by a rap star
or a Republican office-holder. Sometimes the quotes are bizarre, but sometimes, they make just as much sense as this whole structure does.
Getting young gamers involved in politics, at least somewhat, makes sense as well; who inevitably shows up every time there's a call on for game bans or harsher ratings or anything like that? Politicians out for votes. The more the young folks know about the political process, the more they can be aware to watch out for these kinds of tactics, and ensure that we can still play the games we want to play, no matter what kind of draconian action the 24 Hour News Cycle demands.
So while Microsoft's Election Hub may not be the stuff that political science majors dream of, it will be a good starting point to get some interest built up to help gamers protect their rights. Which are, in the end, every bit as important as everyone else's.