Xbox and Rock the Vote partner to get gamers to the polls

The youth voting group will be promoting its cause on Xbox Live, and Microsoft will be taking the Xbox mission to the major parties' conventions.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read

Microsoft wants Xbox 360 owners to get up off their couches, put down the controllers, shut off Halo 3, and vote in this November's election.


Redmond's video game console division has partnered with activist organization Rock the Vote as a way to get more young people to register to vote. Promotions will start hitting its Xbox Live online service starting on August 25, the first day of the Democratic National Convention. Xbox Live owners will be able to register to vote as well as participate in presidential polls and opinion surveys.

Microsoft will be promoting the Rock the Vote partnership at both the Democratic and Republican conventions. It'll also be lobbying to make the parties aware of parental controls and safety on the console, presumably as a way to get anti-video-game advocates off its back.

"Xbox is a natural partner to help us reach out to youth voters," Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote, said in a statement Thursday. "To realize our goal of registering 2 million young Americans by this fall, we need to go where young Americans are, and there's no doubt in our minds that many are on Xbox 360 and Xbox Live." Rock the Vote has also turned to News Corp.-owned social network MySpace, encouraging bands with a presence on the site to get their fans to register to vote.

Microsoft touted the Xbox as an influential platform for reaching the youth-voter demographic, citing a stat about Xbox Live's 12 million members: if it were a state, it would be the seventh most populous in the country.