New Game Promotes Advocacy in Manufacturing

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is weighing in this election season by using a new game to advocate for industry-related issues.

To better inform voters of manufacturing issues and how they affect the public’s daily life, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers released a new game app in preparation for this year’s election season.

“This year’s election really underscores it. You listen to the politicians and the people that are leading these races, and they don’t spend their time talking about manufacturing issues, which they should because the backbone of this economy still relies on the employment in manufacturing,” AEM President Dennis Slater said.

The game app is an extension of AEM’s “I Make America” campaign, which was launched in 2010 to show how the manufacturing industry powers the U.S. economy and creates social benefits that many consumers take for granted.

While AEM’s main goal with the game at the  is to bring the issues to the forefront of those involved in the manufacturing industry, it also is available to the general public through several mobile device stores, including Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“We look at it as a great opportunity to go out there to all these employees to thank them for being in the manufacturing business, and they can understand how important they are—there’s a sense of pride to that,” Slater explained. “But then to get them to understand the issues so when they go into vote, they’re out there and they can make decisions based on what’s good for them and the company they work for, instead of the rhetoric they hear out there.”

The employees who actually do vote and have the ability to control what’s going to happen, they need to understand the issues.

Released in construction and agriculture versions to address both parts of the manufacturing industry, the game features a series of challenges involving swiping and racing the clock. Following the challenges, users have to answer multiple-choice questions about trade, infrastructure, and agricultural issues. Without promoting specific candidates, AEM can more easily reach manufacturing personnel beyond their C-suite members.

“You can talk to the CEOs of these companies, the members on our boards and stuff, but they’re tired of this, and they understand it,” Slater said. “But the employees who actually do vote and have the ability to control what’s going to happen, they need to understand the issues.”

To further engage with the organization, users can earn points—and move up the leader board—by following AEM on its various social media sites and writing letters on manufacturing issues to Congress members. In addition, AEM can push out new advocacy videos or information through the app.

“In order to get people engaged in issues like this, you have to go to them, and … you have to make it a little bit of fun to get them interested,” he said.

Integrating the game further into its existing campaign, AEM will host competitions among employees at the two dozen member manufacturing facilities it will visit during the annual roadshow tour. The winner will receive a 3D television.

“AEM hopes that this ‘I Make America’ Game serves as a compelling tool for manufacturing voters to get involved with ‘I Make America’ and educate themselves on the issues that matter this election season,” Slater said in a statement. “This is an important part of our broader effort to raise the profile of manufacturing issues during the campaign.”

A screenshot from the I Make America game. (iTunes Store)

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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