The first Explorer Scout meeting in April was “Election 2015” – a Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Game in which, during the run up to the real 2015 General Election, participants (the Explorer Scouts) were invited to vote for various fictional candidates and parties.
To complicate matters, you were only allowed to vote once you’d obtained a Voter Registration Form – which was only available to ‘married’ couples. In the fictional state in which the election took place same gender couples were required to undertake an HIV test at the government ‘clap clinic’, and everyone had to first obtain a birth certificate after completing an application form.
Mid way through the game Leaders took on the role of the fictional party leaders, taking the opportunity to promote their various policies – many of which were sensibly questioned by the Explorer Scouts.
To complicate matters, various counterfeit paperwork somehow got into the system (voters were outraged to find that some of their ‘official’ paperwork was dodgy) and some candidates were caught stuffing the ballot box. At one point there were even accusations of a bigamous gay marriage!
Although fictional and fun, it was a good opportunity to briefly discuss the topic of real votes for 16 and 17 years olds (most of our ‘voters’ – but not all – were in favour of this), to debate some real policies proposed by some real parties in the real General Election and to talk about the rights and responsibilities of being allowed to vote in a democracy – but hopefully a real democracy and not the chaotic one we created!