My projects aim is to help reduce political polarisation by encouraging young people to turn out to vote. This was a direct response of my research, looking into the effects social media has on political polarisation and how it is marginalising already politically disconnected young people, allowing more radical voters to have a larger share of the vote.
I’ve decided to make a board game that highlights the issues of not voting and the importance of political participation. I needed to design a product that would bring young people together in becoming more politically involved, whilst being a fun experience and something that they’ll want to use. This will be achieved by making a fun board game that young people want to play, whilst also having a serious underlining message throughout, hopefully leaving the user thinking or possibly interested in the importance of voting and the issues around political polarisation.
The boardgame I have designed is called Land Ahoy. It is a team-based, social deduction game, where players don’t truly know who is on each other’s team. Players will hypothetically be placed on a frigate, where the crew have heard of an apparent treasure island nearby. The crew are split on whether to go for the treasure or to stay on the ship because along with the rumours of treasure, there are also rumours that no one has ever made it back from the island. The captain has decided to put the decision of whether to land on said island to a crew vote. This is where the real-life political parallels come in, with players put into either team remain, leave, or pirate, with clear Brexit similarities. The pirate team is meant to simulate politically extreme parties and how they often aim to disrupt politics. Voter turnout, voter influence and UK referendum issues will be the key underlining messages, portrayed through the game’s voting mechanics and in-game referendums.