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The Future
Hi everyone,

I’m sure it has escaped no ones notice that things in the last couple of weeks have slowed down. Some of that was the unavoidable fact that we have a lot of players at university with the inevitable distraction of exam season. Some of that does fall to us too, although I hope those still around have found sufficient press and marking cycles to keep them entertained.

However things have not sped up as much as we had hoped post exams. And there has been an exceptional churn of experienced players in different forms - moving from the game or to the a team or to another party. Combined with the exam, a round that has been going longer than any of its recent predecessors, and the fact that we are only recently post election; it feels like it’s time to do two things.

First, to take a pause. Game time won’t move for the next two days. That is an opportunity for people to catch up and settle in wherever they have ended up.

Second, a conversation about this round. To my mind there is potential life still in it, despite its longevity. We can continue to give stories and budget packs and run a euro referendum. But only if players want that, and are willing to continue to put the effort in. That isn’t a loaded question. It’s an open one, and an important one to have given where we are. If people want to keep playing this round then that’s great - and as part of it if there’s more you think I or the rest of the team could be doing to keep things going that is welcome too. If people aren’t feeling it, though, that is equally fine. We play - and Av - this game for fun, and whether it is delivering that is the key test.

The A Team
Acting Acting Head Av | Parliament | Prime Minister's Office | Cabinet Office | Treasury
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I sensed this was coming, and my perspective may be uniquely North American: it's summertime. Which, as a Canadian, means it's finally nice to do things outside. And so I am, which means coming on here is not a priority. So while I always love this dear place, I think this round probably needs to end. (At which point, I'll retire from PolUK but stick around Telegram to see all your shenanigans).
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I think the round still has a degree of life to it, I think the problem is (as was identified) exams. I think if we stick with it things will get back to how they were.

'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. - Friedrich Hayek
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Milton Friedman

Mac the Great and Powerful
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OK, here's my pitch. Let's end the round now. For the next two weeks, let's create a task force made up of a diverse cross-section of PolUK members to discuss and invite public comments about ways that we can "modernize" this game (or whatever the verb du jour is). Members of this task force will then comprise the first A-Team for the new round.
The Rt. Hon. Cyril Kos, QC MP
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2000-Present)
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2000-Present)
MP for Kensington and Chelsea (1997-Present, previously MP for Kensington)
Chair, Justice Select Committee (1998-2000)
Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1994-1996)
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1996-1997)
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^ Similar to the above, it needs to be a conversation not about the next round but about the next iteration of this game. I think it's time for some introspection and some experimentation. Things on my mind:

[1] We need new software. Forum-based gaming is a relic of pre-mobile internet culture, and we've failed to update with the times.
[2] We need a new model of game play that recognises, allows, and accommodates for the natural wax and wane of real life responsibilities and available time commitment to play this game.
[3] I personally wonder if we've overplayed the ethos of free online games and need to consider a subscription model. Micro-financing models abound now and could create a means for a very modest pot of money to defray costs and to have more resource put into advertising and outreach, software development, and/or side hustles for admins.
Rt Hon Lillian Nichols MP | Labour & Co-operative
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Selly Oak (1992-2003)
Home Secretary (2001-2003)
Minister for Women & Equalities (2000-2003)
Queen of the Gays, Basically (2002-Emeritus)
Foreign Secretary (2000-2001)
Secretary for International Development (1998-2000)
Minister for Women (1997-1998)
Shadow Secretary for International Development (1995-1997)

Formerly: Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
Thanks given by: Samuel Burman (Unmasked)
I feel that there is still potential for this round to continue but completey agree that we need to be considering modernising the game for te future,  don' be afraid to experiment and try something new , if it doesn't work I for one would still be playing in the future.  

That being said I do think there's life in this round still
Sion Rowlands MP
Minister of State for Education and Skills (2003- Present)
Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central (1992 - Present) 

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Personally, I feel this round still has life.

However, I don't think we need worry about shorter rounds. The pattern does seem to be that players either lose interest or momentum after a short burst of activity. It may be worth considering how to use that and adapt the game to shorter mini-rounds...maybe even introduce pre-defined cut-offs.

For much activity would it generate if players knew they only had two IG years to do something before the A-Team did a time-jump and your party momentum would influence the jump? Once we resume, the players would be given another deadline to influence things before a further skip.

Less focus on lengthy continuous activity and more on short bursts of all-or-nothing gun battles to get the momentum for the next jump?
Just a thought.
Jack Davison | Labour Co-operative | Member for North Tyneside
(Aaron, formerly Hilda Asher-Grey)
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For many exams are still ongoing. My suggestion is that we wait until the end of the month and review where we are then. Some have mentioned a subscription to the game, I don't see that as an effective measure, and indeed would put people off from playing the game in my humble opinion. It may be worth exploring new platforms for the game.
Georgina Morely MP
Member of Parliament for Barnsley East and Mexborough (1997-present)
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (2002-present)
Have to say i never really played This round, But i just want to give all the players and admins credit because watching from the sidelines it was clear to see this was a good and decent round for the most part.

I dont think anyone desires or wants to play this game every single day of the year. I think you have to look at the fact this round lasted for a very good amount of time and it was a decent round.

And you have to realize all things considered it was a success.

Would it of been good if the round had lasted longer and been a bit more active at time? yes it would of been.

But in todays world im not really convinced its possible to achieve a much longer or more active round than this one, you have to remember the reality these forums games face these days its a struggle for them And most have died out completely.

But no question about it this round was a success, and it leaves the game in a good position to have an even better round next time around.

I think when a round fizzles out its mostly futile to try and continue unless there is overwhelming support to do so and even then you should review the decision to continue in 2-3 weeks time, to see if things are active enough and if not its time to pull the plug.
Conservative and Unionist Party MP For Sevenoaks

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Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback. It's fair to say that there are mixed views, and a lot of interesting ideas about the future.

Having consulted with party leaders, we have decided that it is time to close this chapter and end the round. It is better to go out having had a hugely successful round than to carry on with life support. It is no failure to end a round that has been this successful, and I hope we can learn the lessons both positive and constructive for how to make the next one even more of a success. To have been going strong for five months is no mean feat. To those that wanted to continue: I am sorry, however we had to balance the effort that would have to go into sustaining it for probably only a matter of weeks versus a new round that everyone can enjoy for much longer.

As is normal, we will open forums for feedback and discussion of the next round. And as is normal, it is appropriate to have a shake up of the A Team too, so we will open applications for that shortly. There is no timeline on starting the new round at this time, but we are not planning a protracted interval like last time.

Thanks to everyone that has made this round such a success, and here's to the next one too.

The A Team
Acting Acting Head Av | Parliament | Prime Minister's Office | Cabinet Office | Treasury
Not a bad choice. As for me, my grandmother died earlier this week, and so I am now back but had been away with family until now. I do look forward to the next set of announcements.
Albion Stonewood
Member of Parliament for Tonrbidge and Malling
One Nation Tory of the Old School
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