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Here’s how tomorrow’s vote for U.S. presidential may turn out based on the “gamified election” in one of the world’s biggest online games, MapleStory.
About 78 percent of players favored Barack Obama in an online poll over Mitt Romney, according to Nexon America, publisher of MapleStory in the U.S.
Of 8,385 ballots cast by U.S. players from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, Obama garnered 6,512 votes while Romney received 1,873. When international voices were considered, Obama had 88 percent of the “electorate.” Romney was favored by players in Alabama, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming while Obama was the top choice in “swing states” such as Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin.
The latest poll is the third that Nexon conducted with MapleStory players on the subject of the election. The players were asked who their favorite was in early September and October in addition to last weekend’s poll. Overall, 34,605 MapleStory players participated in the U.S. Obama was preferred overall by 63 percent while Romney had 37 percent.
More than 110,000 MapleStory players participated in an in-game “election quest,” which consisted of election-themed events headlined by faux late-night comedy show hosts.
From a pseudo-scientific point of view, the poll probably just suggests that online MapleStory gamers favor Democrats over Republicans. Nexon America did not specifically qualify whether the participants are legitimate registered voters or not. It did verify whether they had MapleStory accounts and whether they lived inside the U.S. And since more of the players are likely young, the sample from MapleStory is not representative of the larger American voting population.
The MapleStory staff also produced several videos (like the one below) to help players better understand the election process and how government works. Hundreds of players registered to vote through the Rock the Vote partnership that MapleStory offered on its elections quest website. A lot of MapleStory players are between the ages of 18 and 29, with more than 40 percent being female.
“This has been a fun event for everyone, and the reaction from our players has been beyond what we had hoped for,” said Han Sol Kim, a member of Nexon America’s MapleStory production team. “We are excited about the prospect of having helped our players understand how the election works as well as giving them an outlet to let their voices be heard.”
Nexon America is a division of Nexon, which is based in Tokyo with large operations in Korea.