Right Honourable: Prime Minister’s Questions

By John Walker on July 26th, 2011 at 7:50 pm.

TOILET PAPER TOILET PAPER!

The News Corp scandal of the last few weeks brought a lot more eyes to Prime Minister’s Questions than would usually tune in, which in turn led to poor old Speaker John Bercow pleading with MPs to try to behave a bit better this once. But of course it was a typical rendition of the Wednesday tradition, where MPs give their scripted questions, and the PM gives his scripted answers, and only occasionally does one match the other. The rest of it is jeering and poorly delivered, pre-scripted jokes/insults, followed by more jeering. And this is something captured wonderfully, just in time to replace the real thing during the Summer recess, by Mark Richards in Prime Minister’s Questions: The Game.

Mark, who creates politically themed pixel cartoons on his Tumblr, Pixel Politics, is also an indie developer for Top Notched, and the combination of these two powers leads to the AGS-created PMQ: The Game. It’s somewhere between Phoenix Wright interrogation and Monkey Island’s insult sword fighting, which proves to be a funny place.

It’s rather clearly a satire on the complete pantomime of PMQ, and its inherent pointlessness since the purpose of the event is for no one to actually answer anyone’s questions at any point. So it is for each question from Ed Milliband, you as David Cameron are required to pick the answer from a list that best sort-of-fits the question asked. None of which actually answer it, of course. Should you not have a question to match you can always try a special move, such as blaming it all on the previous Labour government.

A matching answer is one that in some way loosely references the question without answering it, while ideally insulting the opposition or boasting of your own party’s superiority.

And.

In.

The.

Game.

A really clever thing, and I like to assume the first game to feature the comforting tones of Speaker John Bercow. Annoyingly it’s free, so I can’t do an “order!” joke. Have a play.

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37 Comments »

  1. Daniel Rivas says:

    I sometimes think the inclusion of cameras makes PMQs a bit pointless, as they can’t actually have any sort of a debate or ask serious questions; it’s all about who jeers the loudest so it sounds like they’re winning. Though I expect it was probably the same beforehand. I dunno.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Paintball guns attached to the cameras. Phone in on a premium rate phone line. “Left, left, left… Fire!” Hit Cameron right in his smug chubby face.

  2. Nighthood says:

    Well that was rather wonderful actually.

    That said, I think when you win it’s a fairly hollow victory, what with you playing as the bad guys and all.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Something something national interest something something steady hand on the tiller something something no alternative something something it’s all their fault anyway.

    • N'Al says:

      Wow, I wasn’t aware David Cameron had an interest in PC gaming blogs! 8-0

    • DainIronfoot says:

      Whoever wins… we lose.

  3. Lewie Procter says:

    More than three laughs from me. That’s a good little game.

  4. jonfitt says:

    I do love, “and in the game”. It’s the “that’s what she said” of RPS but has retained its humour.

  5. Po0py says:

    John Bercow is a knob.

    That is all.

  6. McDan says:

    Although I usually don’t like all this politics bollocks I’ll give it a go if you recommend it that much. I imagine it will be rather more entertaining than the real thing.

  7. markbilly says:

    Thanks for a completely brilliant write-up, RPS! I hope you all enjoy the game!

    There is one unique question-answer routine you can do in the game that causes a little upset and Mr. Bercow has to tell them all: “The public don’t like it. And neither do I.”

    Glad to see there’s so much Bercow love/hate around! ;)

  8. Patrick says:

    Thank for hilariously calling attention to this very entertaining game.

    If I may address real world politics for a moment, I am kinda surprised to hear how negative you are toward Prime Minister’s Questions. I am an American who was watched them on and off for a year or so (I know that not much to base an opinion on) but it seems leaps and bounds better then our system of simultaneous press conferences being held in different parts of the building with both parties talking past each other and basically refusing the admit that the other exists (except in cases where they can distort the others message and make them look terrible then they want to remind you that they exist). I mean, at least your politicians get in the same room and pretend to engage with each other.

    • pagad says:

      The negativity likely comes from the fact that we watch the MPs that we elected behave like a pack of jackals as whoever’s speaking shovels buckets of shit over the other parties.

    • Mirqy says:

      PM has to be able to face questions on any subject under the sun. If he doesn’t know the subject it will be blatantly obvious from the answer. So it ensures they do their homework if nothing else. And non-answers are due to deliberately unanswerable questions. When the question is ‘did you screw up because you’re incompetent or corrupt’, you’re entitled to try to get your own point across rather than answer literally.

      Having PMQs is better than not, and cynicism is no substitute for intelligent analysis.

      /high horse.

    • markbilly says:

      To the question of whether the game is a dig at PMQs: it sort-of is.

      I admit the panto of it all is silly and they do end up exchanging scripted insults but it is a VERY important part of holding a government to account in the public eye. And we must remember all government ministers have to face a similar question time from their opposition counterparts.

      At the end of the day, the structure and flaws that PMQs has made a brilliant parody game in my view, so I just went for it. Hopefully it will get more people watching the real one and that can only be a good thing!

    • Buttless Boy says:

      I’m right there with you, man. I’m in the US too, and I wish to fuck that we had anything like PMQ. I guess we have CSPAN, but that’s just a straight recording of every single thing that goes on in the capitol, which means it makes the politicians scared to act like real people ’cause they’re on camera, yet it retains the deadly boring atmosphere of politics. Sort of the worst of both worlds.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Fun fact: After the second world war, Churchill had the Commons chamber rebuilt almost exactly as it had been before, even though it was far too small to fit the number of MPs at the time. This was to maintain the closed in atmosphere that is conducive to raucous debate. Whereas the American houses are much bigger and open, and things are much more civil (and boring); people give speeches and everyone sits and listens (or doesn’t).

  9. Danny says:

    I approve of the Eddie Izzard reference in the picture caption. Also, as a politics buff. (I have a degree in it don’t you know) I will play this game.

  10. Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

    Ah, brings back memories of high school when every Wednesday our modern studies teacher would basically let us skive by watching a bit om PMQ’s. The game nicely manages to capture the ridiculousness of it all.

    Couldn’t resist purposefully losing so first time round so Dave looked like a tit though.

    Next up RPS comments threads the game. Choose between a selection of running gags, be careful not to succumb to the embarassment of a reply fail and above all try to avoid incurring the wrath of Dave Tosser.

  11. OJSlaughter says:

    Man this is accurate: shame both David and Ed are completely the wrong people for the jobs they aphold… :(

    • wcaypahwat says:

      Well sure… have you watched Question time lately? :P

    • MD says:

      I used to listen to it fairly often on News Radio. It’s actually a bit depressing, because while its farcical nature is obvious to everyone (and I pretty much mean literally everyone, from the politicians themselves to the press to the political junkies to the man in the street), few people seem to care and those who do have no solutions.

    • Premium User Badge Harlander says:

      Of course you look up to it, it’s the Mother of Parliaments.

      That is, it’s the yo mama joke of parliaments.

    • MD says:

      Yo’ parliament so fat, when the Speaker calls “order”, she replies: “650 Big Macs, please”.

    • Jody Macgregor says:

      *Applause*

  12. agent47 says:

    That was the funniest game I’ve played in a while, I love stuff like this.

  13. rayne117 says:

    “A really clever thing”

    Yes, yes you are.

  14. aircool says:

    Heh, one of the best programs on TV and a great idea for a game.

  15. Shazbut says:

    Looks and sounds tremendous. Will give this a go asap

  16. thebluemonkey81 says:

    This one of the things I hate about British politics.
    It’s like they took a group of 5 year olds and went “run the country”

    There should be way less “RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE” and more sitting there, thinking about what was said and then coherently rebutting

  17. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I know it’s clearly visible when perusing the link, but if you would distinguish between ‘play now’ or ‘play once you’ve downloaded this bit’, that would be nice.

    This because of system incompatibilities. It’s hardly necessary, of course.