For all the good work going on around open government I think it is fair to say that we are not so good at engaging young people. Why? Because Gov is boring and, I suspect, young people have high expectations of authentic engagement.

Having a Twitter or Facebook account is not enough and we need to rethink our approach. One of the ways to do that is to introduce a sense of purposeful problem solving and, dare I say it, fun. And the fun element can come from instant feedback by the way. This is not about another vehicle for spin.

Which is where gamification comes in. Other than our imagination there is no reason why the design elements of gameplay cannot be introduced into the government sphere.

Anyway, as pointed out by Marigo Raftopoulos

The gamer generation: 10,000 hours of gameplay by age 21 3 billion hours online per week.

Let's face it young people are the next generation of voters and are a tad cynical about government as a whole. They are also the best bet we have in terms of active citizen engagement. To put that in public service speak, it's also about building a capability to enhance democracy.

So why not take a serious look at what design elements of gameplay can be introduced into open government. For example, we have masses of data so ramifying that data to explore the consequences of various policy options is one possible direction. The only limit to what can be done is our imagination.

The challenge is to think way beyond Twitter and Facebook. And think of the place the gamification of Gov could have in our schools and beyond.

Check out Marigo's presentation Gamification - Optimising Meaningful Engagement for the Foundation for Young Australians.

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Tags: democracy, gameplay, gov2, raftopoulos

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