Gamifying Elections - A Case Study of Android ‘Games’ and Digital Propaganda in the Run-Up to the 2014 General Elections in the World’s Largest Democracy


The  2014  General  Elections  in  India  have  seen  an  unprecedented  blitz  of  media propaganda, which has, given the growing access to digital media with the rise of smartphones  and  cheaper  computers,  spilled  into  new  media.  With  a  general atmosphere akin to that of gladiatorial games, it is not surprising to find a slew of android   application   which   encourages   people   to   cheer   for   their   favourite contenders. The run  up to the elections has seen a prolific use of digital media, online videos, photographs etc, extensive use of social networking sites and so on. The paper will look at the digital media  and games and try to decode how they are aimed at influencing voters. The contention is that rather in the spirit of the Roman  gladiatorial  games,  which  were  aimed  at  shifting  public  focus  from immediate  issues  and  calm  the  populace,  the  new  media  blitz,  alongwith  the gamifying  component  has  been  successful  in  shifting  focus  to  new  age  hero figures,  ‘Mahayodhas’,  and  the  competing  policies  and  ideologies  have  been brushed under the carpet.

Speaker: Siddhartha Chakraborti
Research Scholar, CES, SLL&CS, JNU

Venue:  Committee Room, Central Library, JNU
Date and Time: 6th September 2014 (Saturday), 4:00 pm