Imagine holding down a job where every single decision you made resulted in half the nation hating you. Congratulations, you're now a fully qualified politician. Of course most smart alecks are wise enough to know that any real government task is hard--maybe not Bruce Lee hard, but still pretty rock. Its somewhere between Ron Jeremy's enormous appendage and a particularly tricky exam.
Do you know what else is hard? *pause for dramatic effect...* Video games. And with that watertight segue now complete we can move on to today's big, nonsensical list of stuff. Continuing this author's recent mission to bring you the articles you never knew you wanted--and still particularly don't--it's gaming's very own virtual government. Who runs what, who answers to who, and why isn't Parappa the Rapper in charge of the nuclear codes? Discover some, though not all, of these answers ahead!
Prime Minister / President The Prince (Prince of Persia)
What takes four years to fulfil a promise, but only six seconds to escape a scandal? That's right: your friendly neighbourhood bureaucrat. Like the automobiles of opposite-land, Earth's political elite moves that much faster in reverse; so much so that some officials even choose to moonwalk to work.
Of course, no one character knows the true value of a backwards step quite like The Prince of Persia. Armed with the 'Sands of Time', a mythical, monster-spewing concoction--like Weatherspoons in Cardiff--this veteran leader can chose to undo any and all faux pas, from illicit love triangles to the ill-judged Super-Nuke Tuesdays.
Party line: "The leader formally known as Prince works tirelessly to ensure that you--the people--receive the absolute least-worst future available. Remember last week's side-splitting cholera pandemic? Neither do I, and neither will you, thanks to my party's latest pledge* to unlimited do-overs."
*Pledge does not cover time paradoxes, temporally affected individuals, and/or time paradoxes.
Defence Zachary Comstock (BioShock Infinite)
They say that when it comes to matters of defence, you're either a 'hawk' (read: super aggro) or a 'dove' (almost certainly stoned). If that's the case, then today's top men are roughly equivalent to some kind of gigantic, mechanized kill-bird. Speaking of which, BioShock's Zachary Comstock just so happens to command a right-wingers wet dream by the name of Songbird.
Not only that, but this uber-isolationist leader also boasts a whole host of terrifying robo-soldiers, and a floating city fortress to boot. The man's even a fraudulent war hero, for crying out loud. According to the rules of modern politics, you have no other option but to vote him in.
Party line: "Human rights? More like his human yeah-rights! Amiright?"
Transport Frogger (Frogger)
Transport is one tricky mistress--she wants to go steady, you want to go bumper to bumper. In either case, you're in for a monster pile-up sooner rather than later. Fortunately, most of our modern day politicians are well versed in the intricacies of the extramarital affair, having turned the houses of parliament into a middle-aged frat house circa 1986.
While it's tempting to name EA's SimCity to the post of transport chief--patch pending--there's simply no better candidate today than that lovable scamp Frogger. With his unique view of the action (and a litany of unclaimed babies) this randy amphibian makes for the perfect politician. Sick of getting squished on your way to the park? This guy gets it. Tired of predictable traffic patterns? Take a stand (preferably on the pavement).
Party line: "When you told me to hop to the left, I did. When you said 'okkk, waiit, waiiitt, ok go, now go!' I did that too. Then, when you said 'raise capital gains tax', what did I do?" *raucous applause*
Education Dr. Kawashima (Brain Training)
There's something so laughably tragic about education, and no, it isn't all the lonely, half-mad teachers out there. Well maybe just a little. No, the great irony of the modern education system is that it arrives at precisely an age when absolutely no one cares about it. Kids just want to be kids, while teens are too busy twerking other teens: it's the circle of life, or something. I didn't really pay attention in biology.
To cut a long and interesting story short, the only way you're ever going to slip some worthwhile factoids by those mushy malformed brains is by doing it on the sly (i.e. with--and I cant emphasise this punctuation enough--"fun"). Enter Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, star of Brain Training and full-time patronising dick. With the good doctor on hand to prod our under-performing urchins into action, there'll never be need of another 'inspiring teacher saves ghetto kids' movie ever again. Sorry Miss Pfeiffer.
Party line: "Your children deserve better, your children deserve a tyrannical floating head in every classroom!"
Sport Mario (Super Mario Bros.)
There's nothing like having a tubby, breathless eccentric represent your nation's sporting ambition. Whether said bureau-fat is busy convincing kids to get active or ramping up hype ahead of an Olympic games, this particular position may just as well read "do as I say and not as I do". Hell, the entirety of world government could adopt that as a motto.
Fortunately, in the land of software and sore thumbs a big gut often goes hand in hand with sporting glory. Take Super Mario for instance. This chubby plumber can do it all. From tennis to 'soccer', and track to field, he's a certified Giaccherini-of-all-trades, and maybe just the tonic our obese kids need to start being slightly less obese.
Party line: "Do your children crave sporting success? Then fill them full of mushrooms and watch 'em go. Wahoo! Kids dead from toadstool poisoning? That's a-spicy legal matter!"
Culture Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
If there's 11 things the British do well, then shapely ladies digging up fossils is surely one of them. Just look at Kate Middleton, a real prim and proper globetrotter, married to a man who's actively aging in dog years. Then of course there's museums--the filling of which used to be considered something of a national pastime. Simply pinch a few prize pots from the Egyptians, Babylonians, or Assyrians and stick them in a stuffy old room. Bam: instant culture.
It's with this spirit of good-willed thievery in mind that we hereby appoint Lara Croft the official culture vulture of video game government. What Lara lacks in political experience she more than makes up for in family ties, monstrous wealth, and a gun-toting indifference to indigenous peoples. Oh and she also loves a light-fingered souvenir or three.
Party line: "Tomb too sacred to enter? Fetch me my quad bike. Surviving dinosaurs in the jungle? Let's get to shooting. Treasure guarded by an ancient evil? Ok you might have been right about that last one."
Finance Scrooge McDuck (DuckTales)
Every self-respecting politician knows to never burn through your cash faster than you can create a new and crazy tax to replace it. Is the tearoom running low on biscuits? Drat, better institute that anus tax. Is the nation declaring war on potted plants? Best charge a fee for breathing. It's this money-grubbing attitude that so reminds us of a certain Scrooge McDuck. Star of the classic NES platformer DuckTales, this million-dollar mallard would actually make for a pretty decent economist.
Having locked away his loot in a private vault, you can be sure that old Scrooge doesn't trust those damnable bankers, and anything that serves to infuriate these public panto villains is sure to sit well with the people.
Party line: "This year's video gaming budget is as follows: 2 coins off the price of a dapper top hat, a 30% reduction in geese feed, and a series of major fines for individuals found to be using the terms 'crispy', 'aromatic', and 'Peking'.
Energy Cole McGrath (inFAMOUS)
Energy: 'The great question of our age'... after war, religion, politics, and 'how did they manage to get this much cream in my clair?' The post of energy chief is without question one of the toughest positions in government today, what with all the industry fat cats pawing bribes and hordes of unwashed hippies declaring everything an impending super-Chernobyl.
Unfortunately, and despite Emperor Palpatine's girlish cries to the contrary, unlimited power doesn't just erupt from under an old man's cloak. We need real solutions to real problems and look, that neo-nazi-looking chap is spewing shockwaves. With inFAMOUS' Cole McGrath in charge (tee-hee), planet Earth need never worry about energy again. Simply strap ol' Cole to a human-sized hamster wheel and let the power flow. Job done.
Party line: "It's nice to be appreciated--unlike most politicians, people actually notice when I don't do my job."
Justice Phoenix Wright (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)
Contrary to what the movies might say, forming a vigilante mob is never a bright idea. The modern justice system is there for a reason, and no amount of wild pitchforking on your part is going to change that fact. Sadly some damnable scoundrels will always find a way to escape justice, though there's no need to light up the Bat-signal just yet.
What society really needs is a figure shouting at crime from the inside, within the system, preferably via freeze-frame animations and with a killer new hairdo. That man is Phoenix Wright, ace attorney, star of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It might surprise you to learn that old Phoenix Wright is something of an ace attorney and I don't know what more to tell you, the man is a walking set of credentials.
Party line: "Trolls, tea-baggers, glitchers, griefers, internet tough guys, and keyboard warriors: Objection! Oh and you're all sentenced to death."
A politician is you
"But hold on a minute GamesRadar", you begin yelling at your screen, "these characters are in no way qualified to hold office". Well, of course they're not--and that's exactly what makes this list so damned realistic. Did we miss out any must-have ministers, sensational senators, or evil overlords? Let us know in the comments below, or alternatively pop along to a local constituency meeting in your area--times are as follows: February 29th 2009, 2:00am to 2:01am. We look forward to seeing you there.
Has this feature got you in a political mood? Then check out our Top 7... Games where you meet the President (opens in new tab). Or, for something completely different, see Which game character has changed the most in 20 years? (opens in new tab)