We heard on various podcasts and media outlets that CCP was going to launch a publicity offensive to make players not plugged into the external metagame of the election and encourage them to vote.
Media watchers like me observed and waited and wondered what CCP would do to drive voters to the polls that traditionally have stayed away. And what did we get?
- The usual splash screen banner that no one clicks.
- The usual news link in the character selection screen.
Both of these are terrible in that a player logging into the game must be taken out of the game when they click on those links. I know that when I'm logging in the first thing I don't want to do is not actually log into the game. At best the player thinks about doing it later and at worst they say "meh, why bother?"
- A horribly unimaginative and uninformative 38 second video. Words do not suffice for describing my disappointment. I love CCP Xhagen but the guy put me to sleep with his one line. This video should have been accompanied or replaced by a larger more vibrant video describing a) what the CSM is, b) how they are important and plug directly into Eve's development process, and c) what great things they have done in the past. And done it with energy like the Crimewatch video.
- A mass mailing that one character of mine got. One. Out of eight.
Now maybe they have some metric for deciding characters that are active and yet still need a prod to go vote, but considering all my accounts had voted by this point and this character was no more active other ones, I don't know what metric they would be using.
To add to these failings I have to say the voting itself was painful. At least it was drag and drop but required my full screen and even then it was hard to get my voting boxes on with all the candidates. A side by side design would have been much better and easier to use.
I expected more. A lot more.
For something as important as the CSM and getting the vote out for a more representative CSM makeup, CCP's effort has been underwhelming. Here are my suggestions for next time:
1) Longer and better video that, as I said above, has more life and describes not only what the CSM does but things it has accomplished already. Explain why people should want to vote.
2) Integrate voting into the client. No more having to go out of game to vote because that extra step is going to turn off a lot of people who want to play Eve, not internet spaceship politics.
3) More adverts in game like on billboards or automated notices in local chat with links to the in game voting tool. Make it easy for people playing the game to play politics and you will get your involved voters.
4) Bigger mass mailing campaign to get the word out. One out of eight characters is not enough CCP Dolan.
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I predict as it stands right now that voting turnout will be below 16% of the active playerbase.