Top 5 Game Characters for the Presidential Election

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Let’s be honest–no one’s exactly thrilled with the major candidates battling it out this election season. Wouldn’t it be nice to have candidates we know and love running for Commander in Chief?

Say hello to five new candidates throwing their hats, helmets, and signature holsters into the ring. May the best character win.

Note: In the list below, you’ll probably notice a general lack of Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard. There’s a reason for that; Shepard would win any video game political race in a landslide. The man was practically computer-engineered to be president. With his fantastic rhetorical skill and inherent leadership ability, Shepard v. (Opponent) is a no-contest decision. Therefore, for the purposes of this little exercise, we’re going to consider Shepard the two-term incumbent–ineligible for reelection (even if four more years of Shep is exactly what this nation needs).

Candidate: Mario
Party: Republican – Solid Conservative
Running Mate: Luigi
On the Record: Mario making a bid for the White House is, essentially, like George Washington running again: the man is an undeniable classic. It’s not often that a small-business owner makes the leap to President, but if anyone can do it, it’s Mario. This Italian-American plumber is an everyman whose popularity and sticktoitiveness will make him a formidable opponent. He’s amassed enough of a war chest (filled, of course, with gold coins) to take him through the primaries, which gives him a leg up on some of his competition.
Potential Pitfalls: Unfortunately, Mario has an obligation to pick Luigi as Vice President–possibly the most boring running mate ever. That, however, isn’t Mario’s biggest problem. Presenting an issue no candidate has had to contend with before, Mario’s got quite a thick accent, which may make his rhetoric–however great it may be–indiscernible. His outward hatred of the Goomba race may come back to bite Mario in his high-jumping hind-end, and his constant pursuit of Princess Peach will undoubtedly keep President Mario out of the office more often than his nation can handle.

Candidate: Nathan Drake
Party: Democrat – Moderate Leaning
Running Mate: Victor “Goddamn” Sullivan
On the Record: In politics, charm goes a long way, and Nathan Drake may be the most charming character in the video game universe. It’s hard to imagine he’s 35 yet, but let’s just pretend so Nathan Drake can make his run at the White House. With his unwavering drive to help people (while simultaneously working toward his own objectives), Drake will easily pull in the disenfranchised and down-and-out voters. With Sully as his running mate, Drake will have a constant supply of wisdom (and bourbon) at his disposal, without being overshadowed by his VP. Lastly, regardless of who Drake picks, he’s sure to have a SMOKING HOT First Lady.
Potential Pitfalls: Nathan Drake has killed a lot of people. I mean a LOT. Granted, they were mostly mercenaries, and Drake can almost always claim self defense, but unforgiving voters might have a hard time casting a ballot for a man who’s broken so many laws. He may also run into trouble with “birthers,” as no one’s quite sure where this young man was born. And what was that about Nathan Drake not being his real name?

Candidate: Solid Snake
Party: Republican – Solid Conservative
Running Mate: Otacon
On the Record: With some of the hardest of hardcore military experience under his belt, this man knows the true impact of war. Now that he’s older, he’s not likely to engage in unnecessary martial action, but when he needs to drop the hammer, don’t be surprised if he does it on his own. Snake’s speeches will be incredibly well-written, but he’ll have to make sure people can understand them. Snake also grasps economic principles (at least within the war economy), so add that to the plus column.
Potential Pitfalls: Snake’s no spring chicken. The nanomachines rushing through his bloodstream are bound to get him sometime, and if he kicks the bucket in the next four years, we’re stuck with President Otacon. As VP, Otacon’s guidance is helpful, but this overly emotional computer geek tends to crumble under pressure. Aside from Otacon’s leadership shortcomings, Snake must also contend with his laundry list of enemies. And he’s a smoker.

Candidate: Ash Ketchum (all-growed-up)
Party: Green Party
Running Mate: Brock
On the Record: While the other candidates argue about things like war and the economy, President Ketchum will focus on the often-untouched but still-important issue of the environment. It will be hard for opponents to attack Ketchum in the usual ways, as the man is practically a saint. Look for him to be the Ron Paul of this election. Though not a decorated war hero, he does have a bunch of shiny badges, which will look good behind the podium during debates. As far as votes go, though, he’s Gotta Catch… as many as he possibly can.
Potential Pitfalls: As a third-party candidate, Ketchum already faces an uphill battle, which isn’t helped much by his collection of strange animals. VP candidate Brock won’t energize the ticket much, and Ash’s questionable sexuality leaves him without an exciting First (Partner). Though he’ll be hard to bring down with negative ads, expect Team Rocket to start a SuperPAC and order Ketchum campaign to surrender now and/or prepare to fight.

Candidate: Master Chief
Party: Republican – Moderate Leaning
Running Mate: Sergeant Johnson (back to life)
On the Record: Mr. Chief isn’t just a war hero–the man has prevented the destruction of earth multiple times over his illustrious career. In the way of credibility, it doesn’t get much better than that. WIth a soft spot for soldiers like himself, expect President Chief to make veteran benefits a part of his platform. He’s also seen the face of intergalactic war, making international conflicts seem petty, so Chief’s foreign policy focus will likely be on peace. Playing the foil to Chief’s strong, silent demeanor, the vocal Sergeant Johnson may help to energize rally crowds and bring in the minority vote.
Potential Pitfalls: One of Chief’s biggest shortcomings is that he just doesn’t seem very presidential. His quiet disposition works on the battlefield, but in the warzone of politics, he’s likely to be drowned out by his competition. Mr. Chief also presents an intimidating figure, which affects his electability. Apart from that, Chief is unmarried, a fact that may alienate some of the “family values” voters. As far as attack ads go, Chief may get flack for his militaristic upbringing, with opponents claiming he’s too much a soldier, unfit for political office.


Now it’s your turn, loyal constituents. Who deserves your vote this election season? Head over to our forums to cast your ballot for one of these five candidates or write in your own choice!

Being undeniably bad at video games has never stopped Sam from loving them, and now he's covering the gaming industry daily. When he's not writing about (or playing) video games, Sam can usually be found watching past-their-prime TV shows on Netflix or reading whatever finds its way onto his Kindle. Twitter: @scnolan13 PSN/Steam: rotcerid