How does a politician measure their success and legacy? Is it by the number of policies they introduce? Is it the quality of life of the people in their consituency, or country? Is it by the number of board positions they’re offered, and the power they can excert behind the scenes? Could it be a luxurious ermine robe and a seat in the Lords?
Possibly. But this is 2021 and in our increasingly digital future, it’s clear that the true mark of a politician, nay a statesperson, isn’t the trappings and favours, it’s having your very own videogame.
Politics and videogames are not topics that have ever sat comfortably together. From the outraged harrumphing of the House of Lords, over the original Grand Theft Auto, through to the more recent ideas that peoples of various countries do have a place in videogames, as long as it’s being shot or blown up by Special Forces, it’s been a strange and strained relationship.
That’s all changed, thanks to one Reddit user. Posting in the /r/Scotland subreddit, they have brought together the worlds of politics and videogames in one slick and defiantely retro game: Nicola.
Nicola is a modified version of the original Sonic The Hedgehog which, instead of featuring the eponymous prickly speedster, now features Scotland’s First Minister.
Nicola: MegaDrive Edition
The gameplay remains the same. Zoom through Green Hills, collect rings (replaced in this version with SNP logos), and squash the baddies, all while looking effortlessly stylish in a signature fuschia frock.
While the graphics may be retro, the gameplay is bang up to date, with spikes, perilous pitfalls, parliamentary committees, a hostile media, and a variety of invertebrates, and nippy creepy crawlies to navigate.
You can download and play the game for free, using a Sega Megadrive emulator. There are a lot of them out there, but the simplest may be BlastEm, which comes in Windows, MacOS & Linux flavours.
The game file is available here.
Yes, of course he’s in there. Although subtly renamed…
Don’t Forget To Vote Folks
Whoever you vote for, do please vote. Polling stations are open until 7pm. You can find your nearest polling station here.
In the interests of balance we’ll gladly post political videogames featuring other political leaders. If there’s a mod which puts Willie Rennie in Power Washer Sim, or Douglas Ross in Tropico 6, let us know…)