TVO, Ontario’s public TV and media organisation, aims to promote citizen engagement with the launch of Honoured Citizen, a multi-player social media game that runs on Facebook.

Developed for TVO by Lazar Entertainment, Honoured Citizen allows players to participate in all levels of civic society and demonstrates that there are many ways to become an Honoured Citizen, if you are willing to speak out, engage with issues, question, debate and vote.

“Game-based technologies can serve as powerful tools for advancing civic engagement – it’s called gaming for good,” says Christine McGlade, manager of Interactive and Digital Media for TVO. “Honoured Citizen will immerse gamers in the political process.”

Honoured Citizen is the only Facebook game that realistically simulates all aspects of the political process. Players participate as citizens, politicians, activists or lobbyists. Politicians can seek nominations and woo voting blocs. Lobbyists can wine and dine politicians. Activists can start protests and organize petitions. Citizens can raise issues and participate in polls.

The object of the game is to gain honour points by engaging with and participating in an online shadow government – discussing, debating and organizing around political issues. These points may be spent to take on different roles in the game, perform other functions, or they may be traded with other players or strategically donated.

The game runs in real time and every round is one week long, with new issues in play during each round. After every four rounds, there is an election.

My take? I never play Facebook games…they just aren’t my thing. But I’m going to try this one out!