British Parliament launches a computer game

Young people will soon be able to get a taste of what it is like to be a "MP for a Week", as the Parliament Education Service releases their own computer game. Commons speaker, John Bercow, is targeting the game at 11 to 14-year-olds, reports the BBC.

Using footage from the Commons chamber, as well as interviews with politicians, "MP for a Week" will allow players to experience the daily life of a backbench MP and be scored according on the effect their decisions have.

Players will be able to choose their speeches, use their mouse to get the Speaker's attention and even "face a baying pack of journalists". The game also includes footage of MPs giving advice to players, including Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik, Labour's Natascha Engel and Conservative Adam Afriyie.

"It's vital that young people understand the role of Parliament and the work of MPs," said Bercow. "Parliament has a duty, which should also be a pleasure, to connect with the public and MP for a week is an innovative way for students to explore our democracy."

Tom O'Leary, head of the Parliament's Education Service, believes the game will give students a better understanding of how Parliament works. "MP for a Week gives students an understanding of how Parliament works in a way that hasn't been attempted before - by letting players experience life on the back benches.

"By learning through play, we hope students will find the political process interesting and more meaningful to them."

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22 Comments

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neufuse said,
Sim Parliament? sounds um fun.....

I know its an educational game, but how much tax money did this cost?

Just what I was thinking!

Yes, how to fiddle your expenses and who ate all the pies Prescott level (secret).

Then we will have a special code that will get you into the section of how to get your kit off and get

layed by a 19 year old boy (as a 59 year old) then the more cash you chuck him the faster his hips get.

I just think the best level would by the Guy Fawkes level.

It's funny that the blood effect from UT3 is reused in above trailer... Is there a version coming soon running on Unreal Engine 3? lmao

Does it include claiming expenses too? And options such as "I'm gonna need another £12,000 for that duck pond of mine"?

The problem of expenses arrived because MPs are underpaid, generally you pay for a level of "intelligence", the more you cut wages the better people walk out. I know people who would like to be MPs because they like what the job involves, but refuse to do it on the grounds they can earn several times more working for banks or law firms.

No, expenses arrived because an MP's work is not covered in their base salary. The expenses problem arrived because many MPs abused the system. And it is still a very well paid job, simply because they need expenses doesn't mean otherwise. All it means is that it's not really fair to make someone pay out of their own pocket for work-related travel. Kudos to your friends though, if they're capable enough to get jobs which make them smirk at MP's wage then they must be doing well for themselves.

The MPs abused the system because its a way of gaining more money for an underpaid job (I never implied underpaid meant they are scraping their pockets), sure its good pay at around £65k but these are the people making decisions about the country - now consider they earn less than most professionals working in central London.

£65K is a damn lot more than people that save people for a living (Nurses get ~£23K, and that's in london with the higher pay). They're damn lucky and it's my opinion that any MPs that overcharged should be fired, and to set an example, any that do so in future face the death penalty.

lt8480 said,
The MPs abused the system because its a way of gaining more money for an underpaid job (I never implied underpaid meant they are scraping their pockets), sure its good pay at around £65k but these are the people making decisions about the country - now consider they earn less than most professionals working in central London.

Serving the people is the highest honor one can hope to achieve, that should be the sole motivation to get into politics. Anyone who wants more than the average garbageman or store clerk is already corrupt at heart and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a position of power.

Shadow Dragon said,
Serving the people is the highest honor one can hope to achieve, that should be the sole motivation to get into politics. Anyone who wants more than the average garbageman or store clerk is already corrupt at heart and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a position of power.

Yes it sad people who contribute little to society get a lot of money, and those who contribute most get least, but that doesn't mean anyone who wants money is incapable of caring for other people. Pay is generally decided on capability not on kindness - which is why doctors earn more than nurses. If you paid Doctors minimum wage you would get a very different selection of Doctors.

Running a country is not about being nice, working for the love of the job or anything else like that, running a country should be done by those who are best at it. The numbers put on the expenses scandals are tabloid exaggeration, the majority of these people have falsely claimed a few pounds, its the minority who are claiming thousands.

lt8480 said,
Yes it sad people who contribute little to society get a lot of money, and those who contribute most get least, but that doesn't mean anyone who wants money is incapable of caring for other people. Pay is generally decided on capability not on kindness - which is why doctors earn more than nurses. If you paid Doctors minimum wage you would get a very different selection of Doctors.

Running a country is not about being nice, working for the love of the job or anything else like that, running a country should be done by those who are best at it. The numbers put on the expenses scandals are tabloid exaggeration, the majority of these people have falsely claimed a few pounds, its the minority who are claiming thousands.


Although I would like a more socialist model of the distribution of wealth, that is actually besides the point here, because politics is different:
If you make money a factor in politics - as it is today - you are inviting corruption in with open arms. It is inevitable, and I think everyone agrees on this (even though the amount can be held down with proper oversight), on the other hand if you make the pay low you could argue that the most competent people would get employed elsewhere, however that idea is based on a wrong premise; we elect our politicians, so we aren't at all getting the most competent, we are getting the best PR products and manipulators.
Also, having worked for many years with the Red Cross here, and having seen the immense amount of incredibly competent people working for free, for the good of those less fortunate, I simply cannot accept the idea that there aren't enough competent (potential) politicians out there willing to work for a low pay.