Business

Game lets you decide Amazon’s HQ2 location, but can you make it pick Raleigh?

A game-like tool GateHouse Media rolled out Friday asks people, “If you were Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, where would HQ2 go?

The game polls users on several topics and uses that input to identify the top location for Amazon’s second North American headquarters.

The Seattle-based company pared a list of 238 candidates across the United States, Canada and Mexico, and announced the 20 metro areas that made the cut Jan. 18 – with Raleigh included as a finalist.

But, as we found, it isn’t easy to “pick” Raleigh as the top spot for HQ2. In fact, we couldn’t make it happen on several tries.

Pointed attempts to push Raleigh into the spotlight turned up other results – including Montgomery County (Md.), Newark, Denver, New York and Philadelphia.

People playing the game, “You are Jeff Bezos. Where should HQ2 go?” are asked to rank the following categories based on level of importance: Culture and business climate; economics and incentives; labor force; quality of life; sustainability and green engineering; travel and commute; and wireless and broadband connectivity.

The game then asks several questions on each topic – like how important is a growing GDP, what’s the ideal population for HQ2’s future city, and how important is a tech-savvy workforce – based on Amazon’s actual criteria for choosing a location.

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