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Daily Reaction: And The President is…

November 6, 2012Written by Sebastian Moss

Apparently in one insignificant section of the world there’s an election going on. To try and shamelessly cash in on the buzz, the Daily Reaction crew of Seb and Dan talk about game characters they want to be the president.

Seb: God, I feel sorry for you guys, having to suffer four years under [insert name]. So much for your economy. What you really need is people with a vision, who really want to change the world rather than perpetuate the broken status quo. Take Andrew Ryan, for example, sure he’d dismantle the entire country and probably try to rebuild it in an alternate universe while fiddling with your DNA, but at least he had bold ideas. Life would be far more interesting, and geniuses like myself would be properly lauded, leading to a new era in scientific glory… until “someone has to scrub the toilets”.

But if he’s a bit too far out for you, how about a super-amalgamation of past presidents? John Henry Eden didn’t inherit the best world to create his quest for a utopia in Fallout 3, and he still managed to rock my cotton socks off. And he has and English accent. Imagine if he/it was in charge now. Hell yeah.

Dan: While I may not agree with Seb’s word choices, I will actually be more realistic on my depiction of the presidency, and those who take the seat. For those of us who have played Assassin’s Creed 3, they will see a number of historical figures, and even one that became president. He was a naturally flawed character with a questionable history, and this visage was something I think most people forget when they try to portray the man in charge. While time may have faded the facts behind someone like George Washington, it is nice to see that even in a video game we can be reminded of the realities behind the position – and remember that these people are humans.

As for fictional characters that took on the role to lead, I think there are actually very few if any character portrayals that do the role justice. As the more infallible, and strongest character is always given to the main protagonist that gamers get to play as. So with that, there are far too many leaders, or presidents in games that are portrayed less human, and more as single sided villains. Which is something that I think needs to be addressed in the games industry and outside of it, no person is perfect, and not all who seek power are only there to use it for evil – as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We may not know where we end up, but sometimes taking a stance or path is better than taking none at all.

Seb: Jesus turned some bread and fish into food for the masses. Socialist. Welfare state. Cave Johnson, on the other hand, can use lemons to burn down houses. He has a plan to make energy and to address housing concerns.

Another big trend in politics is to look for leaders who have a past experience in business. It makes sense, they made money with their company, maybe they can do it with their country. But the amount they’ve made is a pittance in comparison to some evil gaming business magnates out there (no, not Bobby Kotick). The guys behind The Umbrella Corporation knew how to make money and knew how to control the world, they were also clearly gamers as they were into making mods of stuff, including the human genome. Or the Shinra Electric Power Company, they really knew how to gain power.

See the problem people always have with bad guys is that they want to take over the world. But if you vote them in, they won’t need to kill you to do it, and they can turn their massive intellect towards improving the economy so that they can make even more money.

Dan: As the next generation of titles come out, and the age of the average gamer gets closer to voting age, hopefully the political atmosphere in the gaming environment becomes a bigger topic. The depiction of dictators in games becomes a good method of unifying an enemy, as historically dictators are considered single sided and highly controversial. Killzone’s depiction of Scolar Visari, the Helghan planets leader is a prime example of a hierarchy that drives a story and gives a rounded view of leadership. With numerous challenges to overcome, Visari sought out vengeance against the United Colonial Nations and spread propaganda throughout his homeworld to spur favor. While not exactly optimal for a leader, you got to at least admire the man’s dedication to his ideals, which is something that should be a strong value for any candidate.

Who would you vote for if you could pick a leader from your game library? Or are you just fed up with all the talk about elections because you own a swing console? Facepalm in the comments below, tell us about true American values on our twitters @ Seb and Dan and email us political speeches.

Be sure to email DR ideas, podcast comments and general stupid stuff to to enter a competition to win nothing.