The BBC dons its game dev cap to combine 2 things I fear and don't understand: The UK General Election and Roblox

Larry the cat as depicted in Roblox.
(Image credit: Roblox / BBC)

In the ultimate team-up of 'things I dread the societal consequences of', the UK General Election is coming to Roblox. It's courtesy of the BBC, and is meant to serve as "an engaging and fun way to learn more about the country’s election whilst interacting with [the BBC's] top political experts." Naturally, it's been set up to coincide with the upcoming election on July 4, the first one the UK has had since, let me see, three prime ministers ago.

In practice, what that means is that the BBC's Wonder Chase Roblox area—a big rambling space full of activities based on the Beeb's shows—has had its heart converted into a mockup of 10 Downing Street, presided over by the watchful eye of Larry the cat, the real-life chief mouser to the cabinet office. Also presided over, less regally, by real-life BBC journalists Laura Kuenssberg, Clive Myrie, and Jeremy Vine.

As you might imagine, it's all very much aimed at kids (or as the BBC refers to them, the "under 25 Roblox audience," which makes me feel older than sand) despite the presence of political heavyweights like Larry, and you should probably look elsewhere for a hard-hitting electoral breakdown ahead of this Thursday's election. Still, it's a cute and edu-taining way to try and get the youth interested in politics, even if—speaking as a former child—I doubt many of them will be that interested.

I actually went and had a stroll around the area myself. The BBC promises that, if you collect the hidden ballot boxes secreted around the zone, you can adopt Larry as your own pet in Roblox, which admittedly is the most tempting sell a videogame has ever offered me. I got a little confused, though: I found a couple of ballot boxes but, unlike other collectibles, they didn't just zap immaterially into my inventory. I had to pick them up and carry them about. I abandoned my quest after lugging a box back to Downing Street and throwing it directly at Larry's head, which accomplished nothing.

Anyway, if you want to adopt Larry for yourself, if you're someone from outside the UK who is mystifyingly interested in our baroque political process, or if you're just an actual child, you can find the BBC GE Roblox zone here

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.