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Question Time! board game

‘Like Parliament, only a lot more fun.’

Question Time! was originally designed and created by political scientist Tess Shannon and graphic designer Libby Blainey. It first saw daylight in 2004 as a birthday present for Labor senator John Faulkner, who described the game as ‘basically exactly like Federal Parliament, only a lot more fun’. Faulkner later launched the first commercially available version of the game in 2013.  

Shannon said federal parliament was a dramatic place with a rich environment in which to base a board game. As well as educating people about politics while they play, the game encourages competition and deal-making, as well as underhandedness and keen political instincts.  

Players are asked to make impromptu speeches about political topics, or to answer political and historical trivia questions. The main goal is to pass ‘bills’ on various policy topics to secure your legacy in politics, sometimes requiring some negotiation with your rivals. The political motif is strong - the board is shaped like the House of Representatives Chamber, the rules are called the Standing Orders, and the cardboard spinner is called the ‘Spin Doctor’.  

Shannon said the game, which was illustrated by Walkey Award-winning cartoonist Jenny Coopes, is ‘meant to be fun and raucous … but if it whips up some interest in the history of Australian politics, then that’s good too’. 

A later edition featured caricatures of prime ministers as playing pieces. 

How to play

Roll the dice and move around the board picking up cards and following their instructions. Cards ask for a speech or answer to a trivia question, often on quite detailed political or history questions related to a certain ‘portfolio’. Collect enough cards from the same portfolio and pass Acts - first to pass three Acts wins. 

A green coloured square board game box with a caricature of the Australian Coat of Arms on the front with the words Question time - a game of Australian politics, history, intrigue and rat cunning. Photos of politicans and political events are shown around the border. There is a rule book sitting on top of the box.
A green board game board opened up showing seats in a horseshoe shape representing the House of Representatives. There are images of politicians on the seats and some game pieces are on top of the board including a blue card with the words Foreign Affairs and Defence and an orange card with the words Stuff ups and scandals.