Michel Erler’s proposal uses an interactive gaming platform to encourage citizens to engage with their communities. In an age characterized by widespread political and social dislocation, Gaming Is the New Voting aims to facilitate direct democra-tic participation, capitalizing on cutting-edge technology to explore new forms of policymaking and citizenship.
“The political year 2016 was shaped by disastrous democratic decisions, the rise of right-wing populism, and a lack of faith in the political establishment. To create intriguing alternatives, radical and experimental approaches are needed. Gaming, chat bots, and new interfaces could provide much more engaging, direct, and participatory—and therefore much more democratic—possibilities than elections do.”
Erler’s Gaming Is the New Voting will introduce the world of design fictions at the Forecast Forum. Accessibility is at the heart of his speculative design approach: How can games be tailored to ensure the widest possible participation? Who decides which usage scenarios will be simulated? After inspiring discussion around the use of technology as a policymaking platform, the designer intends to create experiments with real communities in a second stage.
Erler’s previous work has been exhibited at the Science Museum London, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and the OXO Wharf Tower. His Spimeio project (2016) brought the idea of a world in which everything is trackable to a wider audience. In it, users could scan a tagged object to learn more about its previous use, value, owner, and history. In 2016, Erler was shortlisted for the Tate IK Prize for Texting Tate, an intelligent bot that interacts with the public in order to learn to describe works of art.
Michel Erler is a designer and artist with a degree in interaction design from the London College of Communication. He currently divides his time between London and Berlin. Find out more about his work at michelerler.com.
Image: Stefon Grant