PlanIt is a game about the issues that face local government, designed to get people (especially young people) more involved and understanding of what goes in to managing their communities.
It works like this: A group--say, a planning commission or small business--puts up a few hundred dollars for community investment. Players register on the PlanIt platform, and take part in three "missions." To win pledgeable "coins," they complete "challenges" within each mission. Then the projects with the most pledged coins get real cash to spend.
About half the players so far have been under 18. Gordon says younger people add a lot of competitive spirit, and are important for encouraging others to play. "This is their first introduction to anything to do with civic engagement. They provide really meaningful input into these issues. And not only that, they also tend to motivate the adults."