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Around Britannia

A backstory for a game, never made, dreamt up five years ago by Alex Fleetwood, Paul Bennun, and myself, amongst others.

Government outsources the actions of the State to a number of private corporations: Group 4, Capita, etc. These are bought into a single company – Consortia – more efficiently running the State.

The British people are losing interest in party politics, as the main two parties fight over an ever-narrowing divide, switching between Government and Opposition. Only single-issue causes galvanise popular opinion. But how can these be integrated into mainstream politics?

The South Bank Club is a thinktank proposing radical ideas, with allies across the political system and state. Inspired by Jane McGonigal, it believes game design can change the world. They are like the Neocons of game design.

The SBC champions Citizen Britain, a game prototype designed by the Kan brothers. For players of Citizen Britain, it is as if the game is Britain. The game-model of the nation is changed to accommodate the play of the majority. Players with the highest C-scores have more influence in changing the game. The nation can then be changed by legislation to reflect the game. This is grass-roots popular democracy facilitated by game design.

Consortia is gifted a major stake in Citizen Britain. As is the BBC. It will produce Around Britannia, the TV window into the world of the game.

A cross-party alliance proposes a motion in the House. The first phase of Citizen Britain will be played so that the winning player-champion of a cause becomes Citizen Britain. Citizen Britain exists to deliver their cause to Parliament as if it were a non-binding (or binding?) referendum, legislation approved by the play of the people. It’d be like the populist version of the Queen’s speech.

The motion is passed.

The game begins.

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