Maria Makarova is part of a new initiative called LJP Youth. The LJP team has partnered with the Bilingual School of Marcq-en-Baroeul, a high school in Lille, France, to create a space for young, aspiring journalists to comment on the world around them. We hope you enjoy what they have to say. 

François Hollande. Illustration by Peter Ansell for La Jeune Politique

François Hollande.
Illustration by Peter Ansell for La Jeune Politique

Everyone has been following the developments in the scandal of President François Hollande’s personal life with bated breath. On January 10, France and the whole world were shocked by the unexpected information about the secret relationship between the president and 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet, famous for her roles in the movies 8 fois debout and Sélect Hôtel.

Immediately after the magazine Closer published the article about Hollande’s affair, a huge scandal erupted. As a result, the first lady was admitted to a hospital for emotional shock. It was revealed that Hollande personally confessed the infidelity that caused Trierweiler’s serious depression.

A scheduled press conference on Jan. 18, focused on economic issues, inevitably included questions about the scandal.

All of these twists and turns gave a new source of inspiration to the famous Belgian computer game creator, Michele Rocco Smeets. Smeets attracted everyone’s attention after the release of his first game, “Snowden Run 3D.” He spent only 22 hours developing the popular game that gave every person a chance to find themselves in the shoes of the NSA whistleblower.

His next creation was a parody of the game called “Call of Duty Black Ops: Zombies.” In Smeets’ version, the main hero turned out to be the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. The game, called “You Don’t Mess with Putin,” won the affection of players in numerous countries within a few hours.

In similar fashion, Smeets quickly responded to Hollande’s love affair with Julie Gayet. He designed a computer game that can already be found online, with the French President as the game’s protagonist. In the plot of the game, Hollande requires assistance. He rides on a scooter and has to overcome obstacles: he has to avoid crushing the paparazzi, his former partner Ségolène Royal, and First Lady Valérie Trierweiler.

According to The Daily Mail, the game has become a real hit: in a few days more than 73,000 people have downloaded the game.

In the aftermath of these events, Hollande’s popularity has actually increased. According to a survey published in the Nouvel Observateur, his popularity rating increased by 2%, compared to the 1% increase in December of last year. At least there is one piece of good news for the president this week. But I doubt that a computer game about this scandal would do much to raise his spirits.