TVO gives Facebook politics a whole new meaning and takes another step in promoting citizen engagement with the launch of Honoured Citizen, a multi-player social media game that runs on the Facebook Platform.
Developed for TVO by Lazar Entertainment, Honoured Citizen allows players to participate in all levels of civic society and demonstrates that there are many ways to become an Honoured Citizen, if you are willing to speak out, engage with issues, question, debate and vote.
“Game-based technologies can serve as powerful tools for advancing civic engagement – it’s called gaming for good,” says Christine McGlade, Manager of Interactive and Digital Media for TVO. “Honoured Citizen will immerse gamers in the political process. It’s a great example of how TVO uses digital media as a platform for civic engagement.”
Honoured Citizen is the only Facebook game that realistically simulates all aspects of the political process. Players participate as citizens, politicians, activists or lobbyists. Politicians can seek nominations and woo voting blocs. Lobbyists can wine and dine politicians. Activists can start protests and organize petitions. Citizens can raise issues and participate in polls.
The object of the game is to gain honour points by engaging with and participating in an online shadow government – discussing, debating and organizing around political issues. These points may be spent to take on different roles in the game, perform other functions, or they may be traded with other players or strategically donated. The game runs in real time and every round is one week long, with new issues in play during each round. After every four rounds, there is an election.
Set in a virtual province, Honoured Citizen offers players a chance to simulate the political process. While the topics gamers raise may be real-life issues, it’s not a place for partisan politics. The game focuses on issues of governance, and non-partisan debate.
Honoured Citizen is the most recent addition to TVO’s gaming for good efforts, which includes Inside the Haiti Earthquake, the Games for Change Festival 2010 Transmedia award-winning interactive game.
Honoured Citizen is part of TVO’s Your Vote 2011, a suite of multimedia resources designed to engage Ontarians in the lead-up to the fall 2011 Ontario election.