Published on November 6th, 2012 |
by Stephen O'Nion
Invert-editorial: time for a black Video Game President?
At the time of writing, millions of Americans have already made their heavily accented voices heard, voting to decide which man will sit behind the desk that starred in National Treasure 2. It’s (a specific) democracy in action and really, it’s quite beautiful to behold.
For a brief bit of background: the USA has been led for the past four years by one Barack Obama: a man, a father, a civil rights attorney, a fan of naming dogs after his own initials. He’s also black.
Quick, name a US President in video games who’s black. Exactly, you can’t. Know when the first black President will be elected in video games? Sometime around 2023 – in Perfect Dark – and he isn’t even assigned a name. Frankly, this isn’t good enough.
America is not like other nations in video games. For a start there’s a certain reality afforded to the United States that’s lacking in other video game locations, and there’s a sense of legitimacy about the elected position.
Sure there are longer-standing authorities: Hyrule citizens are still ruled over by a weakened monarchy and inefficient feudal system; citizens of Rapture have long since lost faith with “tough on immigration, loose on identity fraud” one-termer Andrew Ryan; the Republic of Dave in Fallout 3 has suffered a large number of corruption scandals and allegations of vote-tampering. These are all white males.
When will we live in a world where a black man can rise to be more than a Sheriff?
How is it that the world has endorsed a robotic President in both Fallout 3 and Sam & Max Episode 104? How have we got this far and accepted a sociopathic Rabbit as the Commander-in-Chief but no African Americans? How is it that Metal Gear’s George ‘Solidus Snake’ Sears can get elected to the White House even though he’s a clone, has advanced ageing and wears an eyepatch?
Can we really afford to wait for Perfect Dark‘s unnamed President to take the reins of power? Can we really afford to put up with vicious bunnies and back-stabbing Vice-Presidents on the ticket? Are we not comfortable enough that we can accept a black man as President?
Video Games, four years ago it was time for change; now it’s time for modification.
After all, it’s not like we’re saying elect a woman, is it?