O, brother: Super Enda fails to score support

SUFFERING slips, scrambling up to higher platforms and — well, let’s not beat around the bush — trying to kill your rivals may seem like just the average day in an election campaign.

However, instead of the scenes taking place in TV studios, press conferences and staged photo-opportunities, these traditional scenarios are now taking place in a whole new format.

Fine Gael has decided to immortalise its leader Enda Kenny in a Super Mario Brothers-style election computer game into the online world.

A dwarf-like computer sprite version of the potential future Taoiseach stretches, tricks and leaps his way past his opponents.

The character has to fight off the leaders of rival parties, and others such as Brian Lenihan and Mary Harney as he attempts to grab votes by promising health, social and financial reforms.

The 2-D game, released just before the general election day itself, may seem like a smart idea for Fine Gael as a way to entice young voters to its cause.

However, the party has been forced to defend the fact the computer game has been created and is being hosted by US-based firm www.electionmall.com — putting it under pressure that its “let’s get Ireland working” slogan is effectively just spin.

In a statement, a Fine Gael spokesperson said this was not the case.

“The game was created by our digital task force as part of our overall digital campaign, which includes 30 volunteers and IT workers based at Mount Street in Dublin,” she said.

Etain Kidney — a lecturer in Digital Marketing at DIT — said the computer game “made me even more determined not to vote Fine Gael”.

“I think all the gimmicks which Fine Gael have used to try and spread their ideas through the efforts of their target market have belittled the intelligence and involvement of those subject to them,” he said.

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