A “serious” game based on driving government policy. What what? The website goes some way to explaining what this free sim is all about:
The SeriousPolicy Game sets the player on a mission to win Treasury funding for a new policy. Players can get advice from Tony Blair, get on Alistair Darling’s nerves, or get congratulated by the PM. Along the way you wander through a virtual Members’ Lobby, pop into a simulated Treasury and are summoned to a stunningly realistic digital Number 10. A Paris Hilton look-alike provides some light relief and the MC has more than a passing resemblance to Keira Knightly.
Passing resemblance, riiight. I’m not sure whether I learned anything about making government policy by playing this, especially as the various characters say pretty much the same thing, no matter what angle you take on things. If a serious game is going to rely on principles of teaching people how to understand the workings of real-world processes, then it needs to provide them with interesting decisions and demonstrate some consequences from those decisions. Serious Policy doesn’t do that, at least not yet.
Popping balloons in a harrier didn’t really give the idea that I was making serious decisions about millions of pounds of tax-payer’s money much credibility, either. There’s probably a pretty good governmental RPG to be made, one that can talk about some of the complexities involved. This isn’t barely a proof of concept, although I suspect (vaguely hope) that it might evolve over time into something a little more fruitful.
The 23mb download is right here.