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Published December 8th 2013
A board game for the political family - the Borgia family
Christmas is on its way and with it come extended periods of time spent in unaccustomed close proximity with family members, and the opportunity to bond over a board game or two - or take sibling rivalry to the next level and get revenge for all those years of being the second-favourite child.
Punch ups, bullying, illicit liaisons and tears before recess – if this sounds like a day in the life of your typical school child you'd be right. It's also true of our elected representatives if the makers of newly released board game Question Time!, Tess Shannon and Libby Blainey, are to be believed.
The winner of this contest is the first player to pass three bills in Parliament by answering as many questions correctly as possible while avoiding the pitfalls of Party Room, Press Gallery and Stuff Ups and Scandals.
Question Time! provides hours of fun and an excuse to practise one-upmanship, show off to your friends and make up the rules as you go along – pretty much just another day at the office for our mighty leaders in Canberra. Once you've got the rules down pat, you can let loose with your inner pollie and surprise yourself with the depths to which you'll go to score a point against your opponent.
Having said all that, there is room for compromise: if all parties agree to a rule change, the constitution allows it. This is a particularly welcome aspect of the game for your reviewer, whose own idiosyncratic playing rules for Uno have been cast into question on more than one occasion. The ability to engineer the play to suit oneself is one of the many highlights of the game for her and her playing companion on their Question Time! debut.
Said companion also saw fit to suggest the one minute impromptu speech on a selected topic demanded by the Fillibuster cards be waived in the case of your reviewer, who as a rule enjoys the opportunity to air her opinions on just about any topic. But Question Time! is no place for sissies: a thick hide and an urge for revenge are great assets in this game of political point-scoring.
There is an educational element to this game of question and answer in all matters political, ranging from Australia's very first parliament to the current day. The opportunity to increase the degree of difficulty of the questions by nominating oneself as a Star Recruit is recommended only for the supremely confident: the calibre of the standard questions is challenging enough.
If you have a loved one who likes the sound of their own voice, welcomes the opportunity to hear it and knows everything, Question Time! could just be the ideal Christmas gift. And think of the hours of fun ahead around the holiday house kitchen table while they prove it. Or not…