Get­ting gamers to think about vot­ing

Toronto Star - - OPINION -

At­ten­tion gamers: Do you like to be scared out of your wits? Do you like sto­ries where the un­der­dog hero fights against a su­pervil­lain who is try­ing to sub­ju­gate the world? Want to play a game that might be vir­tual re­al­ity or might be your real ter­ri­fy­ing fu­ture?

Here’s a sim­ple but scary game: Google the name “Stephen Harper” with a col­lec­tion of other names.

To get started, Google “Harper Lyn­ton Crosby.” You will prob­a­bly come across a char­ac­ter known as the “Master of the Dark Po­lit­i­cal Arts.” Try “Harper Arthur Finkel­stein” and you may find “The Mer­chant of Venom.” Here are some other names to pair with “Harper”: Leo Strauss, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Fried­man, Tom Flana­gan, “Cal­gary School.” See if you can fig­ure out what these peo­ple are up to.

That is enough to get you go­ing, but don’t wait too long. For­bid­den knowl­edge may dis­ap­pear from the In­ter­net af­ter the next elec­tion. Of course, there is a lot of non­sense on the In­ter­net, so part of the game is for you to de­cide what is to­tal fan­tasy and what re­quires fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion and thought.

Is there a con­spir­acy? Will some­thing hor­ri­ble ac­tu­ally hap­pen to you if you don’t act to pre­vent it? Is the man who tells you, “Be very afraid,” try­ing to trick you?

If you find the game bor­ing, then quit play­ing it. If you get sucked into the game and get very fright­ened, then talk to your friends, par­ents and other adults you re­spect.

Maybe you will end up do­ing some­thing very im­por­tant, like vot­ing.

This game ends on Oct. 19, 2015. Stephen Bar­rett, Elora, Ont. Fan­tas­tic news that the word has gone out to sum­mon the Wiz­ard of Oz to res­cue the Con­ser­va­tive war room. Who bet­ter to pro­vide a heart for the leader, a brain for the PMO and courage for the back­benchers and min­is­ters? Steven Gaber, Toronto

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