Election Day: The Video Game President

I’ve never been into politics. Real life leaders are not as majestic as the ones in the history books, nor are they as impressive as the characters in my video games. That’s when I started wondering, what if I could draw from fantasy worlds for leadership? Which video game character would I like to see run for the President of the United States?

If you go by sheer popularity, Nintendo’s Mario seems like an ideal candidate. He’s well known, he’s a good guy and he’s got ties to royalty. Princess Peach could be a powerful backer in Mario’s bid for president. Yet, I look at his qualifications. Mario’s day job is plumbing. Plus, consumption of magical mushrooms may not be accepted by conservative voters.

No, what we need is someone with experience! Let’s go back to the near beginning of video games – Pacman! Yah, that’s instant recognition. Whenever anyone takes the first slice of pizza, they’ll think of voting for Pacman. Yet, can a yellow hockey puck truly lead the nation? The longevity of Pacman is a double edged sword. While he has been around the block enough times, he might not be popular enough with younger voters. Health issues are also a concern. Can a person of Pacman’s age survive a grueling election campaign? Ever since the arrival of Ms. Pacman and Jr. Pacman into his life, Pacman’s more of a family man than a politician.

That’s when I looked at another popular video game franchise – Halo. The Master Chief is a decorated war hero. He help defend earth against the Covenant. Plus, I think the Chief would be popular amongst cyborg voters. Maybe he wouldn’t take 2008, but being half-man / half-machine has got to be hugely popular in the 22nd Century. But in today’s elections, I think voters would be skeptical of the mask. Who would he choose as his running mate? Samus Aran? While the hero from Metroid could sway female voters, I think the dual helmet campaign would be met with mistrust and apprehension.

There’s also the issue of compensation. Is Lara Croft going to stop her lucrative business of tomb raiding to serve as nanny to the United States? Then there are those game characters that are too busy with blood lust and revenge. Unfortunately, a lot of popular video game icons are simply ineligible to run. I’m pretty sure that “human” would be an ideal requirement for the Oval Office. That rules out Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Sonic The Hedgehog and even Link.

I remember wasting a lot of time playing Street Fighter 2, but a lot of those characters were not born in the United States. Human or not, a Presidential candidate must have been born in the United States of America. That means no Zangief or Dhalsim for president. Somehow I doubt Balrog the boxer would be electable, even if he is a citizen. As for Guile and Ken, it just doesn’t seem likely. The world needs a true leader, not just someone who can throw fireballs.

The closest I can think of is Mike Haggar from Final Fight. He’s Mayor of Metro City and he can fight. Is that enough skill to run the whole country? It is a surprisingly difficult question to answer. If one video game character had to rule over all other gaming characters, who would make the best choice? I just can’t decide. This is why I don’t like politics. Even in a fantasy setting, it’s still a tough choice.

Who would you choose?! :D