Nigel Farage has condemned as “risible and pathetic” a phone app featuring a character called Nicholas Fromage kicking immigrants off the White Cliffs of Dover. The Ukip leader says the game — developed by a group of Canterbury school pupils – “crosses the line”. In it, players control the Fromage character and compete to kick immigrants as far as possible to gain the highest ‘racism’ rating. It has been produced by a technology class at Canterbury Academy and aims to “make a mockery of extremist views”, according to developers. Mr Farage told the Gazette that he accepted criticism as a public figure. However, elements of thegame-suchastheuseof the term ‘racism’ — were unacceptable, he said.
“Those elements are risible and in many ways pathetic,” said Mr Farage. “I think I’m quite well known for having a sense of humour. I’m a public figure and of course people are going to have views, but elements of this game appear to cross the line.”
The game, called UKIK, has been developed by FonGames, a group of pupils at the Knights Avenue school. FonGames describes itself as “a team of developers who create games based upon controversial news stories for the purposes of entertainment and to encourage political discussion amongst young people”. It features an apparent manifesto from the fictional Nicholas Fromage, UKIK leader, saying: “if you are feeling irrational and want to live in a right wing hell hole then vote UKIK this May. These people might improve our economy, contribute to our culture and make Britain great but they are different to us so let’s kick them all out!” Mr Farage said he would never seek to stifle criticism and welcomed the opinions of the young.
“Fair play to them for having a bit of fun,” he said. “if they want to go away and look at Ukip policies they will actually learn a lot.”
The game has been developed by 18-year-olds John Brown, James Dupreez, Fraser Richardson, John Hutchinson and Joe Brown. The group are all learning coding, graphic design and game development and have been making mobile games about space ships and platform games. Marcus Ball, a co-founder of Ambition House, which was set up at the Canterbury Academy, campus two years ago with the aim of fast-tracking 16-24 yearolds into setting up their own digital businesses, said:
“What’s great about UKIK is that it has been created by young people to encourage others of their age to start talking about politics. It’s irreverent and a game based upon the British tradition of political satire that pokes fun at a high profile figure and should not be taken too seriously as it is entertainment.”
The school’s principal Phil Karnavas added:
“It should stimulate discussion about political issues among young people – something we are constantly told is important. But, really as political satire it is just a bit of fun. Many politicians don’t need help to make themselves look daft, or to say very sffly things, but they should at least have the ability to laugh at themselves. This game may be a bit ‘edgy’ but I suspect it will not bring the British political system crashing down!”
Herne Bay Gazette, December 25th 2014