Merkel Hits Games Convention in Bid for Vanishing Youth Vote

Merkel Hits Games Convention in Bid for Vanishing Youth Vote

Angela Merkel is freshening up her campaign persona after 12 years as German chancellor, hobnobbing at Europe’s biggest computer-gaming convention as she seeks to reverse her party’s woeful record in capturing younger voters, according to Bloomberg.

Days after her first YouTube live interview, the 63-year-old German leader stopped at the Gamescom show in Cologne during a tight schedule of party rallies before the Sept. 24 national election. With an estimated 3 million first-time voters in play, front-runner Merkel and her main opponent, Social Democrat Martin Schulz, have good reason to court the twenty-something demographic.

At the last election in 2013, the two main parties placed first and second nationally, but among those aged 18 to 25, the SPD managed only fourth, and Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union came last. This time, polls suggest that Merkel has a chance to improve on that performance. Her main selling points resonate beyond the older Germans that underpin her party’s power.

“All of us never stop learning,” Merkel said in a speech at the games show, before touring displays by Ubisoft, Sony and Microsoft. Germany’s government may need to help create a “level playing field” for game developers after European Union countries such as France and Poland got a head start with support measures, she said.

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