In the wake of the extraordinary news stories regarding UK PM Gordon Brown and his alleged bullying of staff, one man saw that this needed to be explored in gaming form. That man was Steve Hogarty. That game is Beat Down With Brown: Intern Overload. Kieron and John give it a Verdict below.
Kieron: Bullying, eh?
John: I love it.
Kieron: I’m a big fan of those who practice it, and those who have it practiced upon them.
John: The only cure for bullying is to bully the bully, but worse. A doctor told me that.
Kieron: You are Israeli foriegn policy.
Kieron: My aunty was a semite :(
John: Who’s been bullying lately, then?
Kieron: Leaders of the free world. Apparently.
John: Each other?
John: Is Obama bullying Silvio Berlusconi?
Kieron: You’d hope so.
Kieron: I mean, he’s asking for it. In a very real way.
Kieron: And Obama’s a big fella.
Kieron: In my head, it’s like Quinns picking on Alec.
John: Gordon Brown!
Kieron: Yes! Gordon Brown has been bullying. Apparently.
John: Allegedly. It’s an interesting story, primarily because no one in the major news networks is bothering to investigate if this so-called bullying charity is for real.
Kieron: Yeah – the situation seems like opening up into a glorious clusterfuck.
John: Now, we should probably stress that Labour HQ have strongly denied that prime minister Gordon Brown has ever punched an intern in the face.
Kieron: I was bullied by a charity worker on a train. And I gave them money. I sad face again.
John: Your lunch money?
Kieron: My Phonogram Royalties. So even less than that.
John: I don’t know about you, but I can only understand the major news stories of the day if they’re in gaming form.
Kieron: I just wish someone would make a game about it. But games take 1-4 years to make.
John: But Kieron, wait!
John: Steve Hogarty, editor of PC Zone, has totally made a game about it!
Kieron: That’s splendid.
John: Quickly, play it.
Kieron: …This is an accurate simulation of what it is to “be” Gordon Brown.
John: I recommend leaving it running in the background to see what happens.
John: So, which inspirations do you see Hogarty having taken for this game?
Kieron: The classic Capcom games, of course. It reminds me of Final Fight. In that it starred Hagar, the mayor of the city and this is an even more powerful political figure. Biffing.
John: I wonder if he’s drawn more of his inspiration from early cinema. Sergei Eisenstein, perhaps.
Kieron: It’s certainly possible.
John: I see echoes of Strike.
Kieron: It’s obviously an erudite piece I don’t feel capable of really critiquing.
John: Well yes, I mean, we’re not going to do it justice here with English words.
Kieron: Perhaps interpretative dance would be more the thing.
John: I wonder if it’s even beyond that medium.
Kieron: It’s tricky. I can’t help but think it’s the game that Braid wanted to be.
John: I think that’s a very fair point.
Kieron: Anyway, I would give it top marks if I even felt qualified to judge it.
Kieron: Two thumbs up. Or perhaps fingers pressed into the eyes. Of a subservient worker.
John: Two thumbs crushing the feeble eyeballs of an underling.
Kieron: That’s the spirit.
Kieron: Before we leave, the one thing I don’t get about the story… Haven’t we all seen The Thick Of It? High volume bullying is what we all want in high office.
John: He’s won my vote for sure!
By the way, if you’d like to help people prevent bullying, you can give money to a real anti-bullying charity, Bullying UK, by clicking here.