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You’ve proposed an unpopular law. Game over

The European Parliament is to launch its own online roleplaying game.

The European Parliament hemisphere in Strasbourg: Citzalia hopes to replicate parliamentary work in an online game.
Image: inyucho via Flickr

FOLLOWING IN THE footsteps of hugely popular games like World of Warcraft, the European Union is set to launch its own online multiplayer game.

The game – entitled ‘Citzalia‘ and currently in its first private testing phase – will feature a fictional version of the parliament chamber in which players will act out the process of drafting and passing European law.

“Citzalia is democracy in action,” boasts the website’s About page. “It is role playing game and social networking forumwrapped in a virtual 3D world that captures the essence of the European Parliament. You may even recognise parts of the building.”

Users will be able to take the role of an MEP, a student, a journalist, or any number of other roles fulfilled by staff working at the parliament complexes.

In a system similar to that of ‘Jolitics‘, the new site from Bebo founder Michael Birch currently in alpha testing in Ireland, users will gain points based on the popularity of their legislative proposals (for MEPs), articles for an online newspaper (for journalists) and so on.

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The game’s developers, ESN, hope the game’s true-to-life aspects (though the site skimps on some detail by mashing together the European Parliament’s two buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg, as well as its secretariat in Luxembourg) will educate users on how laws are made at continental level.

To aid this, the game will also include virtual equivalents of real-life laws at their various real-time stages of enactment. Avatars corresponding to real-life commissioners and MEPs will also roam the corridors, answering questions and countering misconceptions of the European Union.

Citzalia’s senior editor, Ahmed ElAmin, told the Guardian that “World of Warcraft was one of the inspirations. It’s the biggest online role-playing game there is. It shows there is a huge audience for 3D online worlds.”

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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