Political Action Ireland game (pitch for NUIM Apprentices Dragons Den task)

 POLITICAL ACTION IRELAND –The educational DS game for the Nintendo DS

The game will focus on politics inIreland. It will have twelve levels moving for grassroots level all the way to becoming the Taoiseach. Each level will have a number of tasks that must be completed by the budding politician before they can go on to the next level.

Is there a niche in the market for a game like this?
Yes there are no other games like this available on the Irish market that caters to this interest. And yes there will be people who will be interested in this purchasing this game.

Who will be the target audience?
The target audience will be people of all ages. It will appeal to those who have a keen interest in politics. Also to students who are studying politics in school or at university or at college will be interested in this game. The NCCA are in the process of developing a new subject that will have politics as one of its main focus. Therefore more young people will be engaging in politics at an earlier age. This game could be used as an educational tool in schools to teach this subject. As with ‘Brain Training’ and ‘Professor Layton’ or as with the case of most video games it will appeal to those who enjoy a challenge.

Does it make business sense?
Yes it makes business sense, educational games sell. ‘According to data released by sales monitor Media Control GfK International, the DS’s heavyweight status in the European console market is closely tied to the popularity of Nintendo’s Brain Training series and other brain training titles. More Brain Training was the bestselling title in Germany during the first six months of the year, while Brain Training topped the Dutch chart during the same period.’ [1] Educational games such as Brain training games available on
the DS are very successful. There turnover is far beyond that of many games available on the DS.  As ofMarch 31, 2009, Brain Age and Brain Training combined have sold 17.41 million copies worldwide, according to Nintendo. This clearly illustrates that educational games do sell.

Why will this game work?
This game will work because it will be designed in such a way that each level will be a challenge. And every level that is passed there
will be more learned about politics inIreland.

How will this product be marketed?
This game will be marketed initially in Ireland. Other games could be developed for other countries and regions in line with their
political regime. It will be marketed as an educational game with advertising in schools, colleges and university outlining not only the
educational advantage of the game but also the challenge that the game presents. ‘Could you do a better job that the present Taoiseach?’ ‘Have you got what it takes to make it all the way to theAras?’ In the media advertising will be in the national broadsheets and on all television stations. As with other DS games there will be an advertisement where a famous person endorses the product, in this case a famous popular politician or politicians from across the political sphere coming together to promote this game.

How will this product contribute to politics in Ireland?

This game will allow people to gain more knowledge about politics inIreland, in a fun way. It would be excellent to see the game make politics more attractive to younger people. One of its aims is to provide a platform for younger people to become involved in youth parties such as young Fine Gael, young Labour, young Fianna Fail and the smaller youth parties. It would be a major boost for the game, if it were to inspire younger people to get involved in politics. In years to come, we may even see younger people run in political elections because the game had the ability to inspire them.

What would it be like to play this game? A taster – The first three levels 

Introduction – The player will create the person that they want to represent them. They chose the gender, hair type, face and body, including clothes. They can also make up the name of their politician.

Level 1 Grassroots – At this round the player will join one of the political parties but not until they learn about them. In order for the player to join the political party they must pass a task. In this case the task will be to get 20 questions correct about politics in Irelandand about the party that they want to join. When they have successfully joined the party they will then have tasks to be completed. They will raise funds for the political party by collecting coins. They will canvass for existing politicians and go door
to door. They will design a poster for campaigning.

Level 2 County Councillor – At this level the player will be engaging in politics at a local level. They will become a County Councillor. They will run in a local election in their chosen constituency. The following are the tasks to be completed at this level.
Task One: Getting elected – They will run a successful campaign, this will be done by getting the locals to pledge their support to the player. Support in the game will be in the form of leaflets distributed to the houses and local businesses within a time frame.
Task Two: Budget – They will be allocated the money for the area and must decided on how much money will be spent on each amenity. They must now go around their area and make sure that the council is doing their jobs. They will help fix pipes for water, grit the road in the winter and fix potholes, whilst also ensuring that there is enough money for each service required.

Level 3. The road to the Dail
By this stage the person will have been in politics for a number of years and they have decided that they now want to be a TD. However before they can do this they need to become aware of the in’s and the out’s of the politics in Ireland as the media and the country will be scrutinizing their every move.

Politics in Ireland 101 task
This task gets the player to read snippets from the constitution and from political journals about the history of politics in Ireland. Then the player must prove that they are worthy politicians by completing a WHO WANTS TO BE A POLITIAN? It will be based loosely on the quiz who wants to be a millionaire. The contestant will be asked questions based on the prep material. They will have three life lines, phone a politician, ask the audience 50:50.
[1] <http://www.next-gen.biz/news/brain-training-games-dominate-2008-euro-software-sales>http://www.next-gen.biz/news/brain-training-games-dominate-2008-euro-software-sales Available 1 November 2011.


19 Responses to “Political Action Ireland game (pitch for NUIM Apprentices Dragons Den task)”

  1. D O'Driscoll Says:

    This sounds like a brilliant game. I think it would generate much needed interest and understanding in the area politics in an era when so many people want to engage with the system yet do not know where to start to gain practical knowledge and understanding, and therefore don’t feel confident enough to speak about the current situation. It will give people a chance to learn about the Irish political system from the comfort of their home and ultimately give them the confidence to voice a knowledgeable opinion on the political parties when they have completed the game. Best of luck with it. D O’Driscoll, B.A. Political Graduate.

  2. Jennifer Kavanagh Says:

    Actually you should get on to the guy who created The Thick of It and get this made into an actual DS game. Great concept!

  3. Clare Daly TD Says:

    Interesting concept. Not sure there are many Who want to be a politician, but would be useful to raise the understanding about how Irish politics works (or doesn’t)

  4. You can tell I'm a business student :P Says:

    Good idea to educate for sure… it’s not feasible really tho… Nintendo would never agree for this game to be published as it doesn’t offer any international attraction. It is also very unlikely people will actually pay for this..

    if the idea is just to educate and not to create cash flow then why not a free online flash game…. relatively cheap as there is no licenses to pay for and doesn’t need to be created as a physical hard copy. It is also likely to go viral with people sharing it on facebook.

  5. frank hunt Says:


  6. Jenna Says:

    As a CSPE teacher, I am very excited about the prospect of this new educational game. The education system is changing and with the recent unveiling of the new Active Learning based Junior Certificate and indeed the Politics and Society subject set to be announced at Leaving Certificate level, this new initiative can have nothing but a positive impact. Our school recently held a very successful Politics week, visited by several prospective Presidents and leading politicians, politics is something school goers are interested in, why not make it more accessible , fun and current, I believe this product can do just that.

  7. Adrian Kavanagh Says:

    Desmond O’Toole (via Facebook): Fourth pitch, politics DS game. Politics in the real world is much more interesting. As an educational idea it has some merit, but as a place for authentic politics, I don’t see it. Sorry, but not today.

  8. johnny Fallon Says:

    This is an interesting idea from the educational perspective. I would certainly have bought it as a kid, unfortunately I am probably the only kid in my class who would have done so. Us electoral nerds are a strange lot. Most of the genuine interest in politicis or becoming a politician does not kick in for many until they are at college and then they can play the USI game 😉

    I think there is strong potential for this to be a free educational tool distributed through classrooms. As such it would work very well in CSPE and in competitions etc. The downside is that you then have to think of students means and remember that many students in disadvantage schools may not be able to afford a DS which means that the Dept would have to start providing them, this then pumps up the costs and while in the Celtic Tigher I would have thought it possible in todays grim world its unlikely and for that reason I’m out…sorry

  9. Sen Ronan Mullen Says:

    Novel idea – well done. Another way of looking at it would be to devise the game along the lines of “championship manager” with levels based on how well you can manage a constituency/department/government etc. Obviously not entirely analogous but you would be working with budgets/strategies/civil servants etc. Just an idea – best of luck with the task!!

  10. NSalmon (@N_Salmon) Says:

    This is a great idea but probably needs to broaden horizons a bit more. The platform you intend to develop the game with (Nintendo DS) is probably a limited audience for it to be successful in engaging the public on politics.
    I would suggest developing the game as an APP for smartphones available to use on all platforms (i-phone, Android, Blackberry etc.). This would have a much broader audience as smartphones seem to be here to stay unlike the product life-cycle of the Nintendo DS which I would suggest is past maturity and into decline. In addition, the game would be more affordable for the user if availbale on smartphones given DS games can cost up to €50 or €60. It also might be a good to make your game available as a game through Facebook which in theory have a potential market of over 500million!

  11. eimearmcd Says:

    whoop cant wait!!

  12. T. Kelly Says:

    I think this sounds like an fantastic game, I think it would definately bring more interest and a understanding to politics. I would love to try this game.

  13. M. Barbier Says:

    I think this is great. As someone who is applying for Irish citizenship at the moment, it seems a great way to learn the nuances of Irish politics.

  14. Siobhán Murphy Says:

    This sounds like an excellent opportunity for students and people of all ages to gain a better insight and understanding into politics. With the upcoming announcement of the Politics and Society subject for leaving certs, this game could be an exciting and fun resource for the students, as they approach it from an interesting and inventive perspective.

  15. Daragh Says:

    this is a really good idea, it gives people a chance to learn more about politics and gives people an insight of how politics works. It also sounds like a enjoyable game.

  16. Luke Flanagan Says:

    Great idea. Not sure about having to join a political party is such a good one though.

  17. Brendan Gleeson Says:

    A new meaning for the academic pursuit normally known as ‘game theory’! I support this wholeheartedly. It helps to underline generally the need for improved training and preparation for political leaders especially at the local and regional levels.

  18. Pat Rabbitte T.D. Says:

    I welcome any initiative which educates young students about politics giving them a better understanding by making it more interesting. Best of luck with your venture.

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