Games

How About That British Election, Huh?

For once, people who don’t want to squeeze the poor and pour pressure on the NHS have woken up… not totally depressed.

by Mike Diver
Jun 9 2017, 12:47pm

Somewhat appropriate ‘Beautiful Katamari’ screenshot courtesy of Bandai Namco Entertainment.

E3 is imminent. A smorgasbord of New Game Stuff and Shiny Exploding Excitement and Fancy Pants Rhetoric and Lies Damned Lies is coming, promise. With a half a dozen stage presentations from major players in the industry, you won't be able to bloody move for it all once things kick off with EA's conference on Saturday. ("Kick off," haha, see what I did there, Because Sports, etc.)

Right now, though, I need a moment. ICYMI, I'm the British one here, the sole-non-American, the one who appreciates vowels and has, frankly, abysmal teeth. (Look, some stereotypes are rooted in at least a little truth, and yesterday's visit to the dentist didn't go so well.) And as a British Person of Under-40s Age and Wanting The Best For Everyone Who Doesn't Have The Best Right Now, the past few significant political events, the proper marquee votes, have left me utterly despondent.

But today: not so much. Waking up after yesterday's election—the latest Big One, the One That Matters—I don't immediately want to get on the sauce. I'll save that for 5pm or so, when the Beer Friday email does the rounds. (What, your work doesn't have a Beer Friday? Have a word.)

I needn't bore you with the downers of the recent past. I've no eagerness to think about any of that, right now. Because right now, there's the tiniest nugget of something I've not felt inside me, when it comes to British politics, for a while now. I think it might be hope. It may also be relief. Or vindication. Or joy, even. Probably a mix of all of that, and more.

I'm… happy? After a general election, I'm happy. Not over the moon—we didn't "kick the bastards out" or anything so dramatic as that. (And, of course, if you're on the side of the bastards, look, it's nothing personal, you're probably an okay person underneath that scaly exterior, but I don't think we can be pals.)

But there were big inroads made by those who don't want to see the UK's health service and police forces critically compromised, or our kids' schools rocked by more and more funding cuts, or our invaluable arts and entertainment culture (and that includes games!) compromised by unfair restrictions on the movement of the best talent. Furthermore, those who assumed, so very fucking arrogantly, that they were untouchable, have taken great knocks of confidence. And it's great to see them squirming.

And the youth vote, wow! Be that 72% or 69% or whatever, to see such motivation amongst a demographic previously assumed to be apathetic towards the whole process is a total heart warmer. If you went out and voted for the first time, good one. There are many small stories out there that make up the bigger picture—and it's one of, I guess, not total shit. For once.

I don't know what the next few hours, days and weeks will hold for us, for Britain. We, at the time of writing, have what's known as a hung parliament—basically, nobody has won this one, as no one party has won enough seats to form a parliamentary majority. And I'm not about to get into the deeper nuts and bolts here—there are far better places to find that info, like VICE UK for example.

(Edit: the fucking DUP, honestly? The ones who are firmly anti-LGBT, against equal marriage, and vocal about the denial of climate change? Who are anti-abortion, and sit on the relative far right of British politics? Oh, good. I'm sure that'll work out just fine for everyone.)

But from the perspective of someone who so desperately wanted the destructive incumbents to take a blow or two, metaphorically speaking, there's a smile on my face this morning. The same kind of smile I get when playing something purely gleeful like, oh I don't know, a good Katamari game. There you go: video games. We got there.

And what I want to ask, what I'm inviting you to talk about over on our forums, is how you feel today, knowing that there is a whisper of change on the breeze in Britain, that the people who'd squeeze the have-nots to reward the already-have-loads have been told: y'know what, fuck that noise. You don't need to be British to have an opinion, of course—hell, us Brits spend us much time debating stateside and continental politics as we do our own. We might be a small island, a few of them actually, but how Britain votes always has implications for the rest of the world.

Chat about where you're at, in the wake of this massive general election, maybe your own Happy Happy Joy Joy games of choice, over on the forums. (Or, add to this existing thread, if you prefer.)