The Guild – or, has our new Prime Minister ever played Civilisation?

David Cameron, age 13, programming a VIC-20

David Cameron, the new Prime Minister – and Nick Clegg, the new Deputy Prime Minister of our coalition (or guild?) government are both 43 years old. Which means they were born in 1967, and grew up in the 1970s and 80s. I mean – they’re not much older than me (38) and they’re the same age as my lovely sister, Emma.

Emma and I grew up through the birth of the home computer industry (our first computer at home was a Vic-20), with programmes such as “Making The Most Of Your Micro” on the telly, and of course BBC Computers appearing in our classrooms.

So it’s not too much of a leap to imagine that Dave & Nick had the same experiences, right?

They would have been 16 when Manic Miner came out. Maybe a bit old to be swept up in it so much (my sister was too busy being cool and listening to Einstürzende Neubauten for instance) but I imagine they might have been quite nerdy, rich kids (they went into politics, after all) – probably BBC Model B households.

So, they were probably playing Elite

They might have got the bug – who knows. Perhaps they started playing god games and in ’91 when Civ first came out they would have been 24. Maybe some post-grad nights lost to it?

I’m stretching. I have no idea.

But wouldn’t be brilliant if we had gamers governing us at last?

6 comments
  1. David Cameron was actually born 9th October 1966. I don’t remember him being a computer gamer at school; at least he didn’t hang out in the original computer-room with the TRS-80s and the Scott Adams text adventures. BBCs arrived later.

    Michael Gove, on the other hand, has gone on the record (and Radio 4, I believe) as a D&D player.

  2. Hugo said:

    I really doubt they grew up gaming. More likely to be shooting grouse.

    Cameron is against violent computer games:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/aug/28/conservatives.ukcrime

    However, the 38 year old George Osborne, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, “turned his occasional video–game habit — picked up playing Age of Mythology with his children — to political advantage”:
    http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazine/archive/2010/04/features/david-cameron's-battle-to-connect?page=all

    PS Cameron was born in 1966 and Clegg was born in 1967.

  3. Darren said:

    I think they as a generation of teenagers just missed the boat on computers slightly- I would say kids born around 1969/70 probably hit the sweet spot of the 8bit micro revolution. Next younger PM will almost certainly have been a gamer.

    I always feel lucky to be born in 1970 – as I got older I was perfectly placed for classic 2000AD in 1978 onwards, arcade games and ZX Spectrum’s in the early 80s, and Alan Moore and Frank Miller in the mid 80s (i’m mixing in my own interests here, but still….) Also I feel lucky as working class kid I could afford those things relatively easily as well. (God, I wanted an Apple II when I was teenager but totally out of my price bracket)

    All of which made me the middle aged juvenile geek I am today…. :)

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