Prime Minister's Questions: The Game

Political skill is occasionally referred to as “gamesmanship.” With such a clearly game-like environment, why are there not more actual video games about politics? Other than The Political Machine series, I can’t think of any notable video games in the genre.

Prime Minister’s Questions: The Game takes the idea of politics as a game and literally plays it out, replacing the 30-minute weekly question-and-answer section between British politicians and their Prime Minister with a Monkey Island style talking duel.

You are presented with a question from your opposition and, as Prime Minister, you have to respond. Your response can do anything from damaging your opponent’s reputation to helping yours. The damage is played out exactly like an old-school JRPG battle, with little slashes over the characters taking damage. You even have “special” moves you can use to buff your attack before fighting.

The metaphor here is pretty direct. All you need are a handful of stock lines and you can answer political questions all day long. It’s so game-like that many of the phrases are interchangeable—yet still believable. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine politicians repeating the same stock phrases at each other over and over again hoping to score some slight edge on the scoreboard.

Talking Points: What is the author trying to say about the content-less nature of political debate? How does this intersect with politics itself being widely viewed as a game by many? Do conversations-as-game necessarily require rote phrases to repeat over and over?

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Comments

How appropriate. You govern like a cow.

why are there not more actual video games about politics?

That's a brilliant question. Probably not enough shooting involved. Maybe some sniping, but not a whole lot of shooting.

BUT THERE COULD BE!!

What is the author trying to say about the content-less nature of political debate?

That it's vapid.

Well, that was easy.

i dunno...unless in the background there's a room full of overprivilaged idiots jeering, stamping and booing at every comment like a pack of sugar-addled toddlers then I fail to see how this simulates British politics with any level of accuracy

If you are willing to move into the board game space, one of the best board games of all times is Die Macher; a game about German parliamentary elections. It only takes about 7 hours to play...and that is if you are very familiar with the rules. That said, it is a fantastic game -- one where the game mechanic works extremely well. I have not seen a computer game do it better.

stevenmack wrote:

i dunno...unless in the background there's a room full of overprivilaged idiots jeering, stamping and booing at every comment like a pack of sugar-addled toddlers then I fail to see how this simulates British politics with any level of accuracy

So... League of Legends?

stevenmack wrote:

i dunno...unless in the background there's a room full of overprivilaged idiots jeering, stamping and booing at every comment like a pack of sugar-addled toddlers then I fail to see how this simulates British politics with any level of accuracy :P

I LOL'd, but that's half the entertainment of it. People stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, and go "RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE".

I'd also like to see a South Korean Parliament Fighting Game.

stevenmack wrote:

i dunno...unless in the background there's a room full of overprivilaged idiots jeering, stamping and booing at every comment like a pack of sugar-addled toddlers then I fail to see how this simulates British politics with any level of accuracy :P

Isn't that how it goes? For reals.

Edit: Hear ya go:

I LOVE British politics.

I think of The Thick of It as more a documentary than a comedy series.

The Chairman pushed the bill through parliament.

No literally, the guy holding a chair was pushing and shoving a stack of paper from the front door all the way to the back-door and out into the parking lot.

Imagine the opposition to that.

Yes, they were a fierce bunch of mouth breathers. It's hard to breath through your nose when it's broken.