Parliament playing games with taxpayers’ cash

As the parties bicker about how best to pull the country out of recession, £350,000 of taxpayers’ money is being spent on a video game.

Parliament is currently advertising to firms for the opportunity to make the game. It will teach children about democracy, Parliament, and UK politics in general.


Parliament is spending £350,000 on an online game to engage younger people into politics. Photo: Maurice Beijer

It’s described as “a computer game that will engage and immerse young people in learning about democracy and the role of Parliament in scrutinising the government, representing the public, and making laws.”

The game’s creation has funding from Parliament’s budget specially allocated to the education section.

Tom O’Leary, head of education at the Houses of Parliament, says that there is a lot of research suggesting that children learn better when they’re being taught by something engaging and interesting, which is why they are developing an online video game.

“It has to be accessible to the maximum number of users,” said O’Leary.

The project has been described as a “potential” plan. The Education Service already has an online video game with the same concept, called ‘MP for a week’.

When challenged about whether it’s a necessary investment, O’Leary argued that it will be an effective way to engage the younger generation with politics.

“If you stand in front of a classroom of kids to teach them about politics, and get out a book, well you can probably guess what their response would be,” he said.

He then went on to refer to the game as “chocolate covered broccoli”, as it engages children in a fun, yet beneficial way.

2 Responses to Parliament playing games with taxpayers’ cash

  1. Laurel Dearing says:

    So teach them about interesting things in politics and engage them in debate.

    Encouraging political interest in kids is important, but they aren’t going to be fooled by a game. Let’s face it, it wont be subtle.

    There are cheaper and more efficient ways of teaching. In the current climate it doesnt matter how interesting politics is if kids feel it is irrelevant to them and that people cannot change anything.

  2. Keith Brown says:

    Interesting isn’t it that at a time when political parties are all telling us how they are ‘prudent’ with our money that some idiot thinks that anyone will be bothered to go on to a website to spend their time playing this game when the turnout for the last election was less then 60%.

    The arrogance of these mandarins is astonishing.

    I for one don’t think that it’s a good use of my hard-earned money