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Gamify the Election

Should we gamify the presidential election, making candidates compete for campaign funding?

What if someone created a large Super PAC and candidates could compete for its support? What if we gamified the bid for the presidency?

Picking up from a climate lottery, another game idea. If some large amount of funding was put in from private donors, say $10 million, and it was there for the taking of any candidates willing to try to win it. What sort of events and what sort of scoring would be useful?

Now, I am not an attorney, so I’m not sure the legalities of the idea. That is, I know Super PACs cannot coordinate. But it’s not clear whether they can offer contests (of skill) to determine whom they support. But assuming they are legal, things like requiring cross-party debates might be a start.

If Bernie Sanders (who opposes Super PACs, and therefore probably wouldn’t participate) debated Lindsey Graham (who just dropped out), they might each score 100 points for the Gamified PAC.

This idea might seem far-fetched, but China has that new Sesame Credit system, judging individual citizens for their social behaviors. That system has received much criticism in the West as being a tool of a totalitarian system. But is the current political game so much different?

Donald Trump says some batshit and gets awarded some percent in the next poll. The whole troupe shows up to talk to this group or that, and they hope to walk away with the prize money. Of course, much the same system is already practiced throughout the business world. China’s just putting an existing game into digital form, right?

Sure, their game isn’t based on a distributed ruleset, while the political game at least has some distributedness. But the criticisms I’ve seen all ignore the fact that the game is already there, but how we choose the rules does matter. They act like the game itself is the issue.

Currently we have broken rules for electing public servants. Maybe gamifying the elections, doling out money based on more formal contests, would at least let us have some more objective measure to evaluate by. Or maybe it would just point out the flaws of the existing system. But, in either case, the game is already there.

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