A new computer game featuring political heavyweights Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and, er, Paris Hilton is an example of how games can be put to serious use, according to its makers.
The SeriousPolicy Game sets you on a mission to win Treasury funding for a new policy, pitting you against the current and former Prime Minister and other high-profile politicians including Defence Secretary Des Browne and Chancellor Alistair Darling. Paris Hilton is thrown in for a bit of "light relief".
"Most citizens are interested in national politics. But many have become disillusioned with the process and believe that they have little influence over decisions," says the SeriousPolicy website. "Interacting with government through games will not suit everybody. But it will suit the increasing section of the population who are at home with interactive, digital media."
As well as conversing with the politicians, players get to view a "stunningly realistic digital Number 10".
There are more traditional methods for getting your views heard by the government, of course. You can contact the Prime Minister and let him know your idea for making Britain better, get in touch with your Member of Parliament or respond to current government consultations.
SeriousPolicy also suggests creating and signing a petition to the government. You will, however, to have to win significant backing to get your views heard by Number 10 – PC Advisor forum member Paul Milne gained nearly 10,000 signatures to his petition to convince the government to bring pressure on Microsoft to stop the software giant overcharging the UK for its Vista Operating System earlier this year. But it's no surprise that we're still paying significantly more for Vista than those in the US.
In which case, maybe you're better off just playing the game – at least then you can laugh at SeriousPolicy's efforts to replicate Scottish politicians' accents.
Scroll down the following page to download the 23MB file.