We all know that video games only enter political candidates’ radars if they need something to skewer to easily gain no-fuss brownie points. I highly doubt any of these people have actually played one, although I can picture Barack Obama having had an all-night “Super Mario Bros. 3” session at Harvard. Still, what if each political candidate in the 2008 presidential election were a video game? You know, if we actually lived in the Tron-verse and all. Below are my picks for the games that Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden would be if they were video games. Click here for our thoughts on the Republican nominees.
Earthbound – I keep hearing that Obama lacks the experience to lead the American people to the promised land. This brings to mind the oft-neglected “Earthbound” series. Ness, the hero of that game, was just a kid, yet he managed to save the world from an alien invasion. Everyone knows bloodthirsty aliens are much scarier than Iranians or Russians. Besides, Obama looks like he’d be great with a yo-yo. See? Sometimes youth can work to your advantage. Also see: every Japanese RPG ever made.
No word on if this changes Obama’s stance on illegal immigration.
Paperboy – Considering the disdain with which McCain’s camp paints community organization, you’d think Obama had been delivering papers in the peaceful Chicago suburbs for all those years. We gamers know, however, that even that is no easy task. Remember the evil break dancers and tornadoes? The over-sized cats and the grim reaper himself? Those awful, awful intersections? Just throwing the paper anywhere near the front door was hard enough on its own. I now have a new-found respect for community organizers and a new-found sense of relief at the death of print media.
And how do you expect Obama to pay for all of these safely delivered newspapers? That’s right: higher taxes.
Actraiser – McCain’s camp tends to paint Obama’s celebrity as messianic in tone. In “Actraiser,” you play the role of a god that has to rid the world of monsters and guide the development of human civilization. What better! Barack Obama’s campaign is definitely trying to sell us on a guy who can placate the needs of the people by helping them rebuild farmlands and go into dungeons to kill lots of monsters. I suppose this also can be said about “Drawn to Life.” In that one, you can make Obama look like a giant pizza slice or a purple penis. Not that I did that.
Barack Obama is shown here using a magic scroll he received from a population increase. Awesome!
Altered Beast – Until recently, Barack Obama seemingly had a patent out on the word “change.” That brings to mind the originator of change in video games, the dude who grabs glowing balls to turn into a mega-powerful wolf! McCain’s camp has sarcastically likened Obama to a messiah in several campaign ads. He’s not a messiah! He’s just a centurion who was appointed by Zeus to save his daughter Athena from the demon god Neff. Get it right, guys! Going from man to superman and finally to ferocious golden werewolf in the drop of a hat? Now that’s change I can believe in.
But will he reach across party lines to mend things with the undead?
Honorable mentions for Obama:
- Michael Jordan in Chaos in the Windy City
- Test Drive Unlimited
- Any Zelda game.
Mike Tyson’s Punch Out – I’m not entirely sure of his merits here, but pundits love to throw out the term “Attack dog” while referring to Joe Biden. Is there a greater attack dog in the esteemed canon of video games than Little Mac from “Punch Out”? That little guy literally beat Mike Tyson. Take that, Fresh Prince! And no, “Parappa the Rapper” and K.K. Slider don’t count. They may be real dogs, but they are also total hippies. And the “Duck Hunt” dog doesn’t even attack; he’s more like a dicky roommate.
This could change once “Fable 2” is released. There’s a real attack dog in that one.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Joe Biden is a lawyer, you know. He not only passed the bar in several states, he even teaches a constitutional law class on Saturdays. I think I speak for every American when I say I’d like to see him don a spiky hairdo and yell “Objection!” about 50 times during a case. Although I guess he’s already known for yelling irrelevant nonsense during Senate meetings. He’s just got to get to work on the spiky hair. Don’t let us down, Joe!
Will Biden blurt out other things without thinking?
Honorable mentions for Biden:
- Viewtiful Joe
- Any long-winded RPG.
So that’s our take on the Democratic presidential candidates as video games. Remember to check out the Republican candidate’s foray into digital immortality here.
— Lawrence Bonk