Thursday, 22 May 2008

Game on / Art imitating life?

A few posts ago I indicate that I was taking a break from blogging for a few days. Partly because work was a little more hectic than usual but mainly because I was spending a bit more time playing through a couple of games.

I really do rather enjoy video games and have done so for years. I have always mainly played on the consoles rather than the computer though and have had a version of the Playstation ever since there has been a version of the Playstation to have. That said I don’t think that I will be able to afford a PS3 for a very long time. Money just doesn’t permit.

So anyway, sometimes it’s a lot more relaxing to dispatch hoards of the virtual ‘Hun’ rather than trying to create a finely turned blog post.

Both Nunyaa and Crushed were a little curious as to what I was playing. This time it was something completely different. I was reading over at Dizzy’s and noticed that he had posted about an downloadable electoral strategy game called’ Prime Minister for Ever’. It’s a couple of years old by the looks of things and completely different from the types of game that I usually play. But as you know I’m a bit of an saddo fan of election nights I thought I would give it a go.

Rather than go into a detailed description of the game I’ll just pop on the puff video that Dizzy used at the bottom of this post. It goes on for about 5 minutes but if so minded to have a look you will get the general idea after about thirty seconds. Me posting about this shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a recommendation though.

And so I spent a few nights laying careful plans to take the Nation by storm. Targeting marginal seats, adjusting policy platforms to reflect the views of the public. Researching issues and running policy based advertising. And I failed. Spectacularly. Even in the 1997 scenario as Tony Blair with such a huge head start in the polls I was still trounced by John Major. Couldn’t work out where I was going wrong.

It always takes me a few goes to get going with a new game but usually there is some sort of lift off eventually but this was getting rather frustrating. I even (embarrassed shuffle) dropped the AI down to ‘Easy’ to see if that would make a difference. But no, none whatsoever.

In fact the only thing that I hadn’t done that was available was to ‘Spin’ stories and run attack adverts on my virtual opponents. And rather sadly that was the key to the whole thing. All one had to do was spin like a top and keep attacking the other side and you were pretty much home and dry. Even playing as John Major in 1997. See the demon eyes might have worked after all

It’s only a game of course, not a piece of commentary or satire. But if you are going to have a game like this (and I did enjoy it) I would rather have had it programmed so you could win on ishoos and tactics and not primarily on the more negative aspects of virtual campaigning. Heaven forefend that real life politics should be dominated by an over reliance on spin and attack ads.

Anyway it’s time to toddle off and shuffle off the mortal coil of a few SS Tank Divisions whilst awaiting the Crewe result

No vicious lowest common denominator campaigning there.


Crushed said...

Think the Tories should Easily win Crewe and Nantwich.

Still, we'll know soon enough.

I'm still undecided as to whether your neck of the woods might not give a certain party their first seat in the Commons, in the General.

Nunyaa said...

Think I am more confused LOL