Nigel Mills, a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), was caught playing the game, Candy Crush Saga while he was supposed to be participating in a national pension reforms discussion. Instead of participating like he was supposed to, the Mills was observed playing the popularly addictive game from King, a leader in interactive entertainment gaming for mobile devices.
The Sun published video and images of the MP using an Apple iPad to play the addictive game while in a session of the Work and Pensions Committee. Over the alleged two and a half hours of game play told to The Sun by an unnamed source, Mills admitted to only playing a game, maybe two.
Although it appeared that the MP was deeply into the game on his iPad, he stated that he was still engaged with the meeting, stating that it was a long meeting. He stressed that the meeting about pension reforms was important and that he takes the issue quite seriously. He admitted that for part of the meeting that he was not focused on the goings on and played a game or two.
Mills said that he was wrong in playing Candy Crush Saga, but told The Sun that if by check the meeting, it would show that he was engages, participating and asking questions that the MP felt were important to ensure that they get the issue of pensions right.
Mills was apologetic, but time will tell if he will be able to avoid the draw of Candy Crush Saga in future meetings. He did promise that he would try not to play the game in the future.
Mills is not the first politician caught playing a game. Connecticut senators were caught playing solitaire during a state senate session and US Senator John McCain was caught playing a game of online poker on an Apple iPhone during a 2013 Senate hearing about Syria. McCain tweeted about the incident saying, “Scandal!… worst of all I lost!”, instead of apologizing for his inappropriate game play.
Candy Crush Saga is an addicting game that can be played on both mobile devices and Facebook. The game features 770 levels of play where gamers match like candies to clear boards or collect specific goals. According to Facebook, they have over 100 million players of the game monthly.
A fellow legislator of the game addicted MP, Edward Leigh, said that Mills was likely playing the game to attempt to keep himself awake. Leigh told the BBC that it was a sleeper of a meeting, stating that he was able to somehow manage not to fall asleep and resisted the urge to play a computer game, “but my God, it was boring.”
Parliamentary authorities have started to investigate the incident, but they are not looking into Mills. Instead the investigation is focused on who the individual was who captured the photos and video catching the MP playing Candy Crush Saga. It is against the parliamentary rules to record video or images without appropriate permissions. Some find it interesting that the investigation would focus on someone catching a lawmaker doing something wrong, instead of investigating the lawmaker for playing a game when he should be paying attention.
By Carl Auer