Book design by Robbert Wagtelenberg
17-04-2014 mag 8 /


Pollination of Politics: Political polls as pollen for the gamification of politics


Politics, in our contemporary network society, is too difficult to understand to a satisfactory level without gamification.

This gamification comes in the form of casual politicking, making politics accessible to large numbers of people. Casual politicking works like a system of ‘pollination’ which needs polls to migrate through it. Polls, in turn, have flawlessly adapted to casual politicking by easily migrating between platforms and people, who can spread specific parts of a poll and thereby become pollinisers themselves. If several polls in a row show a party either gaining or losing prospected seats, people will quickly believe that a trend is going on. Polls thereby mediate trends more so than events, and can be called ‘trend media’. These ideas will be illustrated by a case study focusing on the Dutch general elections of 2012. It will thereby become clear that communication about polls is to a large degree structured by the results of successive polls themselves.