Video games are a big deal in South Korea, specifically PC games. In particular, games made by Blizzard Entertainment are amongst some of the most popular in the country. Both long-running franchises such as Starcraft, and newer titles, such as Overwatch are amongst the most popular competitive games that have garnered massive fan followings. This is precisely why not just one, but two presidential candidates have used the respected games brand-recognition to appeal to a younger demographic, in the hopes of getting them to vote in the upcoming elections.
Human rights lawyer So Moon Jae, posted on his official blog that Korean citizens are welcome to download two custom maps of the original Starcraft, which have been titled “Moonters.” The maps are modified versions of pre-existing levels, but notably, contain more minerals amongst other smaller changes. Blizzard recently patched the original game and released it for free for fans of the series, to celebrate the game getting remastered with overhauled graphics sometime next year. It is likely that So Moon Jae’s party decided to capitalize on this release in the hopes of getting some positive PR from a younger crowd of gamers, that otherwise would have ignored anything to do with elections and voting. The election is set for May 9, 2017, and comes after the controversial impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, after it was found out that she was involved in a corruption scandal, earlier this year.
Due to the aforementioned scandal, Sim Sang-jung a politician who is also currently in the running for Presidential candidacy has also capitalized this otherwise dark time in the political sphere to try and cater to a younger demographic through the use of videogame related messaging. Sim Sang-Jung, or more likely the people within her campaigning team have decided that a good way to reach out to the younger crowd would be through the use of the super popular arena based hero shooter, Overwatch. To accomplish this, a video of her political wins has been put out on the internet in the style clearly parodying Overwatch’s Play of the Game outros. Currently, in South Korea, the average turnout is 62.97 per cent. Hopefully, both the parties video game focused appeals will garner in a larger influx of young voters in the coming election.