All politics are local
What makes for a good mayor? Fiscal responsibility? Honesty? Leadership skills? The will to make tough decisions? All of the above would probably be a good start for any human being tasked with running a city. Depending on circumstance and that person's ability, said city will either ascend into prosperity, or plummet into financial ruin.
Thanks to SimCity's release, we got to thinking: Which video game characters would make particularly awful mayors? It's a tough call, really--these are fictional folks, many of whom have performed numerous heroic deeds. But one cannot run a city on bravery alone. These storied champions may have saved a world or two, but gods help us if they're ever put in charge of a single city's government.
The God of War is a pretty awful person in general. Not only is he a self-centered god killer, he's also completely out of touch with modern life. How could we expect him to run a town when his only notion of society is based on an ancient, militant city-state? His lust for revenge would probably make him blind to the needs of the people--and even if he did understand their needs, he could not possibly wrap his brain around hot topics like pollution, water fluoridation, and zoning complications. He'd probably just get super frustrated and murder everyone.
Good 'ol Mario hasheld plenty of jobs over the years. But while gaming's most recognized hero is a man of many talents, he's definitely not suited for the lead role in municipal government. Why? Because delegation is a foreign concept to him. Think about it. When Mario needed a doctor, he studied medicine and became one. He plumbs his own plumbing. He even plays tennis with a baby version of himself (this conundrum is but one of the many questions we've always had regarding the Mario universe) for the sole reason of preventing anyone else from having fun. His noble quest to save Princess Peach has turned him into a selfish dude. He would be unable to delegate tasks to his cabinet, instead opting to run a city all by himself, which would quickly overwhelm him and lead to one financial disaster after another.
"Mayor! We need a decision on the tax increase proposal right away!" Pika? "Mayor, the citizens aren't exactly happy with the fact that we've exceeded our budget by a few million dollars..." Pika-pi! "Mayor! Protesters are swarming around City Hall! What do we do?" PIKAAAAAAAA! Pika CHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.
Good luck with that.
There's no doubt that Gordon Freeman has accomplished some truly incredible things, and for that he's a champion. But he lacks one very basic talent that all good mayor's possess: exceptional communication skills. Sure, he's a man of action, but he stares danger in the face with nary a peep. Actually, the guy just... doesn't talk at all. And when you're the leader of a city, you're expected to communicate to your citizens and the press on a regular basis--which is kind of problematic for a man who would rather crowbar a headcrab than talk politics. It's too bad Freeman's feats of heroism don't translate into city management skills.
Some could take issue with the possibility that DK may or may not be able to talk to humans, or the fact that he seems to prefer unfinished building to completed ones. However, our greatest issue with Donkey Kong as a mayor is that DKs preferred currency is bananas--like, actual bananas. Fans of Donkey Kong Country know DK stockpiles the yellow fruit, which is fine for him, but sustainable economies need more than high-potassium treats. If DK tries to enforce such an economy on the populace, hell end up with a textbook banana republic. On the plus side, if things get too bad, itll only take one jumping plumber to overthrow him.
Nathan Drake's a swell guy and all, but there's something unsettling about electing as mayor a dude who murders thousands of others without an ounce of remorse. It just doesn't sit well, ya know? Even if you excuse Drake's vast killing spree as an overreaching act of self defense, then you have to consider his tendency to "stretch the truth." Anyone holding a public office is held accountable for both their actions and words--and even though Nathan Drake's habitual lying is usually an attempt to protect those he loves, it's not exactly good practice for a mayor. Then again, you know what they say about politicians: they're all liars.
The Commander Shepard you know would probably make a fine mayor. He / she is very likely an upstanding citizen, one who's fair and kind and can make the tough decisions that need to be made. Our Commander Shepard, however, was a reporter-punching jerkbag who hated the media and attempted (at least thrice) to sleep with every female Asari he had ever met. As mayor, this particular Shepard would rather drain the city's coffers on booze, strippers, and mega fancy aquariums instead of road repair and other infrastructure improvements. And you'd better think twice before asking him for an interview.
Would you like to guess how this ends? If you answered "with a lot of alcohol," you're correct. Max would be an awful mayor because in the few occasions he might be conscious, he definitely wouldn't be sober. Some would argue that this could enhance his decision-making skills and the creativity of his policies--but we beg to differ. Max's constant drunkenness makes him a horrible role model for kids (though, admittedly, he'd probably increase the city's police funding), and it would be hard to get him to focus on anything other than his booze-fueled reflections. For Max, "drunk" equals "not being able to walk," and that's bad news--mayor or no.
Isaac Clarke means well, he really does. But let's face it--the dude's a whacko. Would you put a hallucinogenic guy in charge of your city's future? Probably not. Dead Space 3 even showed us Isaac's not-so-crazy side, and it was still disturbing. All he did was sit in his 100 square foot apartment, staring at a picture of his ex-girlfriend. Hardly mayor-like behavior. Imagine what would happen if he had a particularly bad day at the office, and had access to a plasma cutter. Not a fun thought, that.
As one of the few playable mayors in game history, some might think Final Fights Mike Haggar would have an advantage for such a role. They're not playing SimCity. His past experience raises a number of red flags. Not only does he do most of his work shirtless, but when his daughter is kidnapped, he goes vigilante and gets his friend to help search for her instead of going to the cops. This is fairly disrespectful to the town's police, and he puts his own life at risk by searching. What good is Mike to the town if he gets stabbed to death by some punk while looking for Jessica Haggar? He certainly cant approve any new public parks while hes bleeding to death in some gutter.
"I'm sorry dad, I'm moving to Rapture. I hear Mr. Andrew Ryan treats his citizens fairly. He's a better mayor than you are a father."
Garcia Hotspur is a rebel and hell never (ever) be any good. Thats why we love playing as the guy, but its also why the star of Shadows of the Damned would make a terrible mayor. Firstly, the tattooed, demon hunting, motorcycle rider would likely stop enforcing any helmet laws, creating a burden for families and health care workers alike. And because alcohol magically restores his health, expect gaudy liquor stores to crop up all over the community. The same goes for loud punk rock, strip clubs, and gun stores. Sure it sounds like a fun Spring Break destination, but think of the children!
An argument could be made against pretty much every video game character when it comes to whether or not he or she would make a good mayor. Do you agree with our list? Which characters do you feel are even less qualified? Let us know in the comments below.