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Veteran Member - Level 11
Last week a fellow GIO community member messaged me on
Twitter suggesting a blog topic surrounding the upcoming presidential election
and somehow linking it to a video game theme. At first I was a bit apprehensive,
admitting to him that I try to avoid blogging about politics because of the
sensitivity often associated with the subject, but after careful consideration,
I think I can pull it off without upsetting anybody (I hope). Before I proceed
I just want to say even though I choose not to blog about politics or the
election, I do take it very serious (more so than you'll ever know) and am in
no way trying to dismiss the significance of this freedom that we're fortunate
enough to enjoy.
With so many voicing their opinions and holding their ground
without compromising an inch it's easy to invoke the wrath of those with
opposing views, so my goal was to inject a little levity and humor into such a tense
and volatile situation.
My first thought was to play it safe and perhaps showcase
those games where the President played a role or was featured in the game.
Maybe take the "thegodofwine7" approach and do a Top Ten list of sorts;
something like "Top Ten Video Game Presidents". I immediately remembered Ghost
Recon Advanced Warfighter 1 and 2, a series where the bulk of the campaign
involved rescuing President Ballantine from a coup d'état in Mexico.
Then of course there was a title that was a bit more popular
that you might've heard of - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. The story revolved
more around the Russian President Vorshevsky, but did include the Vice
President of the United States being taken hostage. That sort of counts, right?
Well, if we're going to talk about that game, there's no way
we can skip mentioning Call of Duty: Black Ops. Heck, it even features two
former real world presidents. Besides the single player campaign with its plot loosely
based on the assassination of President Kennedy, it also included the rather
popular Zombie Mode featuring JFK and Richard Nixon. Whether you were alive or
not, or agreed with their lifestyles and politics or not is irrelevant - seeing
these two united to battle zombies was cool and warrants their inclusion on any
list of Top Presidents in a video game.
Well, the next game I could think of was Bad Dudes Vs.
Dragon Ninja and its atrocious end game screen. After having this image etched
in my mind, I decided to cancel this idea. I suppose instead you get a Top Three
or maybe a Top Two Pt. Five Video Game Presidents.
The next thought I had was to conduct a mock Presidential
debate (a parody of course) among all the candidates including Gordon Freeman,
Marcus Fenix, Duke Nukem and others. Imagine if Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer, or
Candy Crowley asked the candidates the following questions.
Lehrer: "Mr. Freeman, the economy is experiencing an
unexpected resonance cascade; stock in Black Mesa Research Facility has
plummeted to an all time low and unemployment rates in City 17 are above
90%...can you briefly outline your recover play in the allotted two minutes?"
Schieffer: "Mr. Fenix, Iran is close to developing a
weapon of mass destruction, which not only threatens our allies in the Middle
East, it could pose a grave risk to our national security. If you were elected
President, what course of action would you pursue to deter Iran from obtaining
a nuclear weapon?"
Fenix: " *bleep* Iran! I'd kick their mother
*bleep* *bleep* back to the Dark Ages. Those *bleep* *bleep* would regret the
day they ever decided to *bleep* with us or our brothers. Brothers to the end,
that's what I say. Iran, meh. Iran ain't got *bleep* on the Locusts. Horses and
bayonets aren't going to cut it. Aircraft carriers and submarines aren't going
to cut it. Our fleet IS too small. I agree with my opponent in this regard.
That's why when I'm elected President I will increase our defense budget by
500% and commission a bigger fleet of ships, spaceships that is...so we're ready
for those *bleep* *bleep* when they attack. You know what comes after D-Day?
Crowley: "Mr. Nukem, a number of nationally
recognized media interests including the Washington Post and the Denver Post
have published articles about how women's issues are at the forefront of this
election. What are your thoughts on women's rights?"
Nukem: "Well, uh...gee...um. Well...women...they have the
uh, right to remain silent of course. I do know that. And they have the um...gee,
well, um...the right to work. Sure I don't care if they work. I know lots of
women who work hard for their money. Look, if I'm elected President I guarantee
the people of this fine country I will have plenty of women working under
me...no, I mean for me...no...I mean...what I'm trying to say is if I'm elected
President, I can see women in all sorts of positions in my administration. Does
anybody have any gum...I'm all out of gum."
(Saint: I hesitated with
adding the Duke Nukem comment and truly I'm not trying to offend anybody or
come off as a sexist; I'm only trying to mock how both parties tend to twist
and skew the comments made by their rival. My apologies if anybody takes it any
other way than that or is offended by it.)
Well, I could see that approach was going to spiral out of
control before erupting into a giant fireball so I settled on a different idea.
I imagined the entire video game population of heroes and villains and everything
in between and then viewed it from the perspective of Toy Story, Who Framed
Roger Rabbit and maybe a little bit of that Sony commercial - Long Live Play...whereby
at the end of the day, all video game characters exist in the same imaginary
world of video games...video game land for lack of a better term, and then I
wondered...what one character has the skill, experience and charisma to be the
President of video game land.
Of course the ever popular Mario did well and had the
backing of the Union whereas Kratos didn't because he only focused his campaign
on defense spending and securing the borders. Ah, then there was the
charismatic Nathan Drake who might win the popular vote but his shady past
would no doubt haunt his presidency. Rumor has it a reporter asked John Marston
if he would run for office and Marston shot the man on the spot. Now I hear that
guy is pushing daisies up at Boot Hill. Sackboy, cute as he is...everybody
thought he'd look good behind the podium addressing the nation but would fail
as a Commander in Chief, so he was passed over. Sam Fisher wanted to run...said
nobody understood foreign policy quite like him, but feared ambassadors from
practically every country would question his existence or worse...join together
and run a smear campaign accusing him of illegally entering their country and
killing their citizens. Snake chuckled when he heard this, mumbled something
that sounded like rookie and disappeared into the crowd. Master Chief declined
but said he would consider the Secretary of Defense position if it was still
available after he got done saving the world...said he could use a break. Elena
Fisher had a ton of supporters insisting she run for office; she joked that she
visited Russia once so she was qualified but then admitted she was a journalist,
not a politician. We're still waiting to hear on Gordon Freeman's decision.
The answer is obvious.
The President of the United States (since that's where I am
and what we're talking about) primary function is to the best of his (or her) ability, preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States.
Think about it. Shepard has prior military experience and
knows what it takes to be Commander In Chief. Not only has he sent troops into
battle, he's been into battle. He knows the sacrifice it takes; and not just at
the "country" level, but at the galaxy level...nay, the universe level. He
understands foreign policy and national security issues, just look at his track
record. He wouldn't just secure the borders, he'd secure the mass relay drives.
All this talk of clean coal, digging for oil and energy
independence. Shepard supports mining nearby planets and stripping them of
their resources while leaving the colonized (or mostly colonized planets)
alone. We could be energy independent without any further harm to our own
Hah, we speak of bipartisanship...well Shepard united alien
races, some of which were feuding for generations upon generations, yet he
managed to bridge the gap and bring them together. I think he could handle some
unruly Republicans and Democrats. It doesn't hurt that Mass Effect was
available on all the platforms whereas some of the other candidates are
exclusive to a single platform...and audience.
As previously mentioned, women's issues are at the forefront
of this election. Shepard didn't just have a codex full of women, he had a crew
full of them, some of them filling key positions. Of course there are
allegations he might have had an inappropriate relationship or two, but what
good presidential candidate hasn't been accused of that before?
Even though Shepard is against high velocity barrels,
piercing mods and Pistol Cranial Trauma System type weapons, he does support
the right to bear arms...it's believed the National Rifle Association (NRA) would
still endorse him for president.
Medicaid and Medicare? Shepard's plan calls for major
healthcare reform so every family can have endless supplies of medi-gel, which has
been shown to heal nearly every sort of ailment or trauma. Who needs Medicaid
or Medicare when you have medi-gel.
Shepard's perspective on same sex marriage...hah, even I won't
touch that one.
Education...he's a big advocate for continuing education. He
was always having his crew research and study new technology and advanced
systems so this could be adopted by the alliance of alien races and the humans.
Unemployment rate? Shepard knows something about creating
jobs, so the unemployment rate won't even be an issue. He was always putting
people to work doing something and if he needs to create a lot of jobs, well
heck...destruction always seems to follow him everywhere he goes. Somebody will
have to rebuild the devastation left in his wake. How many workers do you
suppose it took to construct the Citadel?
Okay, all jokes aside...the election is a week away. Whether
you vote or not, or who you vote for is really inconsequential to me. It's a
freedom guaranteed by our Constitution and how you choose to use it is none of
my business. If you choose to vote or if you're undecided, as someone who has
voted for more years than some of you have been alive...might I offer some
advice? There is no such thing as a perfect candidate...someone who you completely
agree with on every issue. Vote for the candidate who shares the same
perspective as you on the issues that matter most to you, while respecting
those who value different issues and potentially a different candidate.
And if you don't vote, let me just say there were times I
didn't like the candidate I was voting for, but I voted anyway. Not because I
felt I had to as my civic duty or because I thought it was expected or the
right thing to do...but simply because I could...
Ah, smell that? Freedom...
I can't vote yet...though I have been somewhat following the election. Commander Shepard might make a good president, not sure though, still need to play those games.
You do make a very convincing argument for Shepard as POTUS... ;-)
My favorite presidents would have to be the ones in CoD Black Ops. I mean who wouldn't to fight against zombies with 2 presidents of the past ?
A bit of an... edgy topic. But I do believe you pulled it off right nicely. And I do agree with Shepard being the perfect candidate. everything there was spot on. Interesting how you skipped one of them, but it was good. But that mockery debate at the beginning? Pure Gold.
I vote our VP be Link...vice presidents don't talk much anyways lol.
Once again, you have written an incredible blog. I couldn't agree more with having Commnader Shepard as a president!
"Of course there are allegations he might have had an inappropriate relationship or two..."
I had a feeling Gordon Freeman was going to be mentioned in this blog, not sure why..just a feeling.
Didn't we already have Shepard? Oh it was Clinton. Keeping up with guys that sleep with everyone/thing gets confusing lol.
ign did something like this. Fake attack ads were humorous
You got me. I wasn't sure what path this blog was taking for awhile but the "reveal" was the only possible answer, Shephard. Kudos for articulately (and humorously) bringing modern day politics into video games. Now, I wish Shepard was a candidate if only to watch his/her "I'm listening" face during the debate.
Hi um Mister Saint if I may I'd like to ask permission to use this blog for my government class mostly because of your last few sentences. My Government teacher has been trying to really get it across to the class that voting is important and I feel like this would be a great way to make it fun for the rest of the class as its something they can relate to.
LOL! Saint this was out of your comfort zone, but I loved the interview section. The Shepard portion was brilliant too! Nicely done.
Lol this was great. I'd definitely vote for Shepard.