Gamification of Politics for The Millennials Generation

John Thibault
4 min readSep 13, 2018

The millennials generation is notoriously disillusioned about government, and who could blame them? They came of age with the terror attacks of 9/11, watched the U.S. go to war, and just as they ventured into the job market, along came the Great Recession.

But another hallmark of the millennials generation — the gamification of almost everything — could be the key to drawing them into political decisions that will shape their future. They’re learning that life isn’t all fun and games. Yet they might be drawn into political action if it’s infused with features they are already attuned to, like interactability, strategy, competition, and rewards.

Millennials who have not ventured much beyond “hashtag activism” and rainbow memes might be surprised at the opportunities for political engagement that echo the games and techno tools with which they’ve grown up. And we’re not talking about online polls, which are useless. What about proposing an idea that could be introduced as legislation? Or using crowdfunding to hire a lobbyist? It could be just as much fun as using Foursquare to become “mayor” of one’s favorite restaurant — and a lot more likely to change the world.

Is anyone listening?

“Problems can’t be solved by the same people who created them,” Albert Einstein said. So move over, baby boomers. When it comes to politics, the millennials generation tends to be cynical and disengaged due to:

  • Distrust of government, reflected in low voter turnout
  • A complex political process marred by corruption and dominated by special interests, making it hard for citizens to get involved
  • Partisan arguments instead of productive dialogue
  • A feeling that politics is old school — for one’s parents and grandparents.

“Politics is just a spectator sport for a lot of us,” said CJ Lake, 24, a social media specialist for a South Carolina corporation. “The feeling is that no one’s listening to us, anyway.”

Lake noted that even when an issue captures millennials’ interest — the gay marriage debate, for instance — their involvement often is limited to chiming in with a trending hashtag or taking a Twitter poll. “We feel…



John Thibault

Founder, CEO iLobby & Author How to Change a Law, SWAY and The Political Game. Change policy and see around corners.