Dizzywood’s Community Elections

Dizzywood Engages Youth to Vote in Virtual Elections

Players have the opportunity to register, campaign, poll and vote, while learning what it means to be a citizen of the world.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — October 10, 2008 — Whether it’s Kat De Claw’s campaign promise “to rebuild the road from Wildwood Forest to Canal City” or Cecil Sideshuffle’s mission “to put an end to the evil Emperor Withering’s corruption,” starting today Dizzywood players will have the opportunity to register, campaign, poll and vote in a special elections event at Dizzywood.com, a virtual world and online game for children ages 8-12. This week-long activity will feature fun and engaging activities, such as story quests to learn about the Dizzywood candidates and posters and t-shirts available at campaign headquarters. At the same time, it will teach youth about the elections process and the importance of participating in real-world civic activities.

Elections Logistics:
Each of the three Dizzywood candidates offers a different platform and viewpoint. It is then up to each Dizzywood player to gather the information about the candidate’s views and recognize the link between the political issues and how it will affect their everyday life in Dizzywood.

Players will learn the logistics of elections by registering to vote, campaigning for their favorite candidate and watching the polls. Social interaction and collaborative activities will allow players to work together on behalf of their candidates and understand that other players may interpret issues differently. Players will meet the candidates and register to vote starting October 10th and the results will be announced after players vote the weekend of October 17th.

Dizzywood has teamed with Shaping Youth media literacy analysts (www.shapingyouth.org) to help develop the elections so that players better understand the layers of critical thinking necessary to address the voting process. “Kids will no doubt apply these critical-thinking skills long before real-world elections when they can legally vote at 18,” said Amy Jussel, founder of Shaping Youth. “School councils, tryouts, youth groups, team captains and such are all practice grounds for learning about coping skills, fairness, good sportsmanship and not always getting your own way. Using a virtual world such as Dizzywood is a great example of how media can create positive change, allowing kids to practice good digital citizenship — and then respectfully applying these life skills to their own microcosms.”

“The Dizzywood election event is a great introduction to kids about what it means to be an active participant in their world, both as digital citizens and real-world decision makers,” said Ken Marden, co-founder of Dizzywood. “It is an opportunity to allow kids to see the potential for change that can occur by being active in one’s community and why it’s important to participate in the voting process in different capacities in their lives. Plus, it will just be plain fun!”

Dizzywood is free to use. Subscriptions will be available to access premium content in the future.

About Dizzywood
Dizzywood’s mission is to inspire young people to use their imagination and have fun, while learning real-life values and skills. Dizzywood’s creative, story-driven world offers children a safe virtual environment where they can explore worlds unlike any other, engage in challenging activities and cooperate with others, while developing important cognitive skills. Because Dizzywood’s games and activities have endless variation, each experience is new and unique — keeping kids captivated and engaged. Kids are appropriately challenged with games and activities that earn players unique super powers and other creative rewards. For more information, visit www.dizzywood.com.
Dizzywood PR Release
So, I totally saw this event in my RSS feeds this morning (Dizzywood has a blog about “happenings”) and I thought – ROCK ON.  That’s a freakin’ great idea!  And low & behold, I get an email about it later on from those darlings over at Dizzywood.  AWESOME.
Events in virtual worlds twist and turn and can go any direction – from themed environments, to specific-room parties, to parades of UGC & users, to ELECTIONS!  What a great way to get kids psyched on the buzz of election time.
  1. October 14, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Actually, Izzy, I thought of you all day today, as I’ve had merciless pings from Nickelodeon ‘tater tots’ seeking ‘how to vote’ for the Kids Pick the President special that ran last night (10-12) evidently! I guess they stumbled on Shaping Youth’s “Kids Pick the Primary” way back when, and the final winner of the poll for KPP will be announced 10-20 by Linda Ellerbee…so lo and behold, here I am on a deadline for the DML/MacArthur grant trying to get some funding for a big ol’ nutrition VW splash, and the kids are gonzo about voting! Gottal love it though…very heartening, these eager beavers. I think the millenials have a run for the ‘next generation’ billing…as these youth enthusiasts have some chops for wanting to be HEARD!

    Can’t wait until Elf Island comes aboard with its cool ‘gaming for good’ too…The nonprofit element appeals to me on SO many levels. More on all that soon…

    Ironically, I haven’t even had time to breathe much less write about the DW civics lesson…but it’s really their baby, as Ken and the creatives there have been going full tilt!

    ttys—You comin’ up for Joi’s ‘un’Conference on Kids Safety Online? Hope so! I’m registered! Will write about that soon too! sigh. I need a clone. Later gator, A.

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