Friday, 18 November 2011
DEEP in the bowels of Parliament Buildings, Stormont lies a darkened room.
Occasionally a door opens letting in light, causing the denizens of this secret cabal to blink and shrink from the glare.
The rare times it does open is to admit a pizza delivery, or multi-packs of stimulant drinks.
Here lies the geek.
Here lies the programmers; that secretive bunch of nerds who crouch and stoop as they bend over their keyboards, using their programming skills to shape and adjust the figures and avatars flitting across their screens.
Here they are ready for their latest release, with a fanfare almost as big as any Xbox 360 release, dripping with the same hyperbole PlayStation3 games the nerds let loose their latest product “Programme for Government 2.0 – the delivery Begins!”
Players of PfG2 are immediately faced with the first challenge, controlling rival speakers as they bore endlessly without tripping up, or worse still, disagreeing.
Next navigate a host of media interviewers were reporters shoot barbed jibes and awkward questions.
Finally beware the end of level boss: earn experience points from ‘Da Speaker’ before facing the End of Level Boss – The Allister.
Pass by The Allister and you’ll move on to Level Two, where you must extract the secret elixir called ‘Money’ to deliver your Level One Promises into the strangest yet of environments. It’s called the real world. As yet few MLAs have passed that level consistently for more than a few fleeting moments.
The programmers of Pfg2 – The Delivery Begins promise four years of gameplay before the ultimate stage ‘The Election’. Before then thrill with your ‘Sword of Cuts’ as you slash into the bloated dragons of Local Government, reducing their numbers until you can manage them; and discover the secret hoards of gold hidden in the mysterious caverns called ‘Monitoring Rounds’.
Less advanced PfG2 players still have the option of downloading a player guide in hard copy where you can join in by picking a page and rolling a dice to see whether any Programme for Government promises can be met.