David Notdimbleby: Our next question is from Kevin Randomaudiencemember from Slough. Kevin…
Kevin Randomaudiencemember: With the news that the government has spent £2,785,695 on an MMO to promote road safety, does the panel believe this represents value for money, or were there cheaper alternatives?
David Notdimbleby: A £2.8 million game about road safety, value for money Zoso?
Zoso: Of course not, it’s yet another example of flagrant government waste. For about half that amount, £1.5 million, K2 Networks bought APB, surely the perfect game with which to impress on 10-12 year olds the importance of road safety. With minor development work a third faction could be added alongside Criminals and Enforcers: the School Crossing Patrol, or Lollipop Massive as I believe they are known on the streets. Booyakasha. Players of this faction would receive a fluorescent high-visibility jacket to ensure they could easily be seen, a sign saying “Stop: Children” to hold up to allow roads to be crossed safely, and a selection of medium-calibre high velocity rifles and grenade launchers to ensure motorists comply with their instructions. They could teach Jon Pertwee’s classic SPLINK! method for easily remembering how to cross the road:
– Find a Safe place to stop
– Stand on the Pavement near the kerb.
– Look all around for traffic, and listen.
– If traffic is coming, then let it pass.
– When there is No traffic near, walk straight across the road.
– Kill any reckless motorists with a headshot, mofo. Booyakasha.
Smattering of light applause from the audience
David Notdimbleby: APB, a viable alternative Melmoth?
Melmoth: Though my Right Honourable friend is quite correct about the ludicrous waste, there’s absolutely no need to spend even half the amount. Instead of the overcomplicated ‘splink’ foolishness, we should be looking at the most iconic of road safety characters: Green Cross Man. This would allow us to leverage features of existing hero-based MMOs, such as the Mission Architect in City of Heroes, to create a scenario in which the players control the Green Cross Man protecting NPC children who are trying to cross the road. The combat-centric nature of the game might require an extension of the key message, though, to ‘Keep looking and listening all the way across, and pummel anything that moves with ENERGY PUNCH BARRAGE!’
More polite applause
David Notdimbleby: Thank you. And our next question please. Yes.
Anne Otheraudiencemember: With the restructuring of the NHS expected to cost the taxpayer billions, do the panel feel that medical training could be replaced by an MMO that simulates advanced surgery by killing lots of boars?