At the moment, there are about 14 million people who have registered for an Xbox Live account. They can play multiplayer games amongst themselves, they can buy content and get demos, they have access to the Xbox Live Arcade, the Xbox Originals and other features. Moreover, now, they are able to use Xbox Live to express their views regarding the economy and politics of their age.
Rock the Vote and Microsoft have partnered up to conduct a series of polls through Xbox Live. The first showed that potential voters using the service would back Barack Obama as President of the United States. The second poll pretty much showed why, by asking the respondents which was the biggest issue on their mind as the elections were drawing near. 35% mentioned employment and the economy, 19% talked about the environment, 18% were worried about foreign policy, while an equal percentage, of 14%, answered that they cared more about health care and education.
Ben Vaught, the project manager from Microsoft, talked to GamePolitics and said, “The reason we do these polls is that Xbox Live is more and more becoming a bellwether of where youth voting trends are going. This poll is really a chance for Xbox Live members to tell the presidential candidates... this is why were voting, this is why this election matters to us.”
The average age of Xbox Live users is just over 20 years old, slightly lower than the medium age of gamers overall, and this voting block is likely to be crucial in the upcoming election. Both Republican and Democrats acknowledge this, yet there's little talk related to videogames, supporting the industry or regulating it on the campaign trail. Barrack Obama, for one, mentioned GTA IV in the context of a speech regarding education, while John McCain used game music in one of his ads – but that's pretty much it.