Higher education Green Paper: fancy a game of TEF wars?

Alexis Weedon unveils a computer game for the post-Green Paper era

November 10, 2015
Super Mario

To aid the understanding of the politics of higher education and the Green Paper, I have devised this brief for a new game. It is called the TEF wars.

It runs like this: pick a character, a bouncy Super Mario-style avatar of a university of your choice. At Level 1, your goal is to pick up as many NSS points as you can and gain TEF stars. However, you cannot hold them all in your backpack if you have too many REF stars. Even so, you need REF stars to get you through the QAA hoops, because only they can give you that extra jump height and agility.

Other avatars seek to steal your REF stars and shorten the life of your NSS points. But you can win or steal armour from the competing avatars too. If you have many REF stars, you can join a tribe.

Joining a tribe gives you access to gold and dark matter, which can increase your resilience, meaning you are less likely to die. At all times you are seeking to protect, train and grow your Tneduts, because Tneduts give you life, nutrition and NSS stars. You must give them tools, spells and increase their magic powers. Your life and your Tneduts’ lives are linked. If you thrive, they do too. When they are trained as wizards they go out into Krow, and you get a life boost. When they are happy in Krow, they gain stardust for themselves and for you.

Once you have achieved Level 1, you need to change your game strategy for Level 2. You need to collect Measures. These come in different forms, but regularly mutate. Some contain hexes, so be careful, they can freeze you and lay you open to attack and prevent your Tneduts from growing into wizards.

If you are lucky, you will have enough NSS points to convert to TEF stars. If you are in the same tribe, TEF and REF stars combine in a shield wall, which is unbreakable except by Hegemony. If you spend too much time obtaining Measures, you will drop your REF stars and lose TEF points. Once you have gained enough stardust, spells and the right Measures – not the hexes – you progress to Level 3. 

Your task at Level 3 is to change Hegemony. This is risky, as Hegemony holds all the Measures. So you need to capture some hexes without them damaging you. You will need to power up your TEF and REF stars to ignite the transforming cauldron.

Once caught and cast into the cauldron, hexes’ negative power is reversed and they become Measures of your choosing. You may then choose to become Hegemony, and play the game for longer, battling the other tribes or you may ChangeTheGame. If you CTG, your Tneduts in Krow will send you stardust and you will win, retire or become Emeritus.

Alexis Weedon is head of department of journalism and communications at the University of Bedfordshire. This post originally appeared on her Facebook page, and is written in a personal capacity.

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