This Wednesday, the United States of America marks its 236th birthday, and Americans are set to celebrate the same way they do most things – be obnoxiously loud and create massive explosions. I’m also obligated to mention here that, according to Jeroen, today is something called “Canada Day,” which he insists is pretty important.
The spirit of independence fluttering about is enough to get anyone in a patriotic tizzy… everyone but us cold, cynical video game writers, lost in our own artificial worlds flashing at us from our screens. The political machinations of congress don’t hold our interest nearly as much as the latest cryptic email from Gabe Newell or marketing snafu from EA. That got us thinking – what would happen if these game developers we follow so obsessively actually ran the governments we live in?
We racked our brains to come up the political practices and policies of some nations lead by game developers. Hit the break to see what we came up with.
Jeroen Amin – Kojima Productions
So imagine if Kojima Productions ran the government, if you can. It’d probably be the same as it is now… but that’s just on the surface. See, what would happen is that we’d all think they’re the government but, in reality, they would actually be controlled by an even bigger organization that is much older and faceless and we wouldn’t really know about them. They’re irrelevant to modern society outside of their prestige and power despite numerous missteps and terrible ideas.
Our Glorious Leader would be held aloft by his great deeds of yore but has been slipping in recent years because of his refusal to adapt and change his ways. He’d still have his scant group of friends who help him out and propel him to success even if they’re nowhere near as clear-cut and important as they used to be. Even his friends will have dropped in importance and effectiveness. The world just forgets they exist except for every so often when they pop their heads out to take a solid whack at the world.
Also, DDR. DDR everywhere.
Trystan Perry: Electronic Arts
A truly authoritarian world.
You want something to eat other than the state’s half cooked lamb chop that you still paid full price for? Then buy EA’s Food: COOKED EDITION – only an additional $30 on top of the food you’ve already bought.
But why stop there? Ever wanted to wear clothes other than a white t-shirt and jeans? Why not buy EA’s Clothes: Extended Cut. Be the envy of your friends by paying another full $60 to add some color to your life, because the local government couldn’t afford to buy EA’s City: Colored Edition. Of course, the local government would soon be dissolved and overtaken by EA, gradually dismantled and absorbed into EA to work on low quality seque… I mean… building planning that they were already doing to perfection.
Good old EA.
Imagine this if you will. In a nation run by Nintendo you would have everything you could possibly to imagine to keep you entertained. Alone in your house, you’d be content and entertained for years with an endless, government-supplied stream of whatever the hell you wanted as long as you remained by yourself. However, at some point you’re going to need to interact with the outside world, and that’s where things get sour in Nintendoland.
By law, in order to interact with someone face to face, you would need to mail each other your pre-designated citizen ID number. Then, after these codes have been exchanged, you can meet with this person. However, you both have to wear masks so that you won’t see or recognize the other person in public. Finally, if you’re not deterred by all of this hoopla, and still decide to interact with your “friend”, you’re given a list of conversation topics that you have to stick to, and things you can say about aforementioned topics, severely reducing your chances of having any type of conversation. Sounds like fun, right?
The year is 2016, and Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick becomes gaming president of the United States. After replacing every politician in every branch of government with game designers and programmers (likely somewhat more competent and loyal to their constituents than their forebears), what can we expect as humble citizens under the company that gave us the Call of Duty, Diablo, StarCraft, Guitar Hero, and World of Warcraft franchises?
First, repetition. As a show of goodwill to voters, a new bill, titled the “Freedom Fighter Act,” guarantees game companies freedom from censorship in the expression of violence in their games. To both developers and gamers, this is great news and is welcomed with open arms. But, in 2017, another bill is passed, called, oddly, “Freedom Fighter Act 2.” People find it strange that Freedom Fighter Act 2 is basically the exact same bill, printed on more expensive paper and using a sans-serif font, but because it’s still protecting the citizen’s right to fight people who contain an abnormal volume of blood, they’re fine with it. The line is drawn in 2018, when Congress passes Freedom Fighter Act 3. FFA 3 is still the same bill, but it is written in Comic Sans, contains thirty more swear words than FFA 2, and is read aloud in the streets by pre-pubescent children with a penchant for mocking the sexuality of passers-by.
IGN gives FFA 3 a 9.0, and expresses excitement for FFA 4.
Blizzard focuses on finance and leaves social legislation to Activision. Blizzard immediately overhauls American currency into a system of goods which are randomly obtained during the workday. Drops range from “Gray” junk items, like pairless socks and the Nissan Cube, to “Orange” legendary items, like Firefly Season 2 or a signed note from BioWare apologizing for and completely ret-conning the ending of Mass Effect 3. The items flow into the economy directly from Blizzard and are sold in a real-life Real Money Auction House. The introduction of the system quickly leaves the public jaded, and after about a month they all decide to quit the economy and wait for Torchlight II to come out.
In short, Activision Blizzard would be the best company to run the United States because once their administration was over, it would forever be overstatement to call any political official “the worst in history.”
Damon Reece – Valve
Oh, man. You’d think that if the world were run by Valve, everyone’s favorite gaming company (don’t lie, they are – just admit it), we’d be living in the most idyllic of wonderlands – a true Communist paradise, where every man would be equal, where hats would be a celebrated form of art expression… it sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
As a triumphant fanfare plays over an image of a waving banner, bearing the governmental sigil, everyone stops and turns to watch the nearest screen – announcements from this government ain’t so common, especially these days. Viewers, working class heroes each and every one of them, gasp as a familiar face strolls into view. “Hello, my friends,” he says, his face breaking into a rare smile. “I’m very sorry to announce that civil liberation has, yet again, been delayed.”
He’s not the only one smiling. Around the globe, everyone breaks into a relaxed grin, their shoulders sagging as they contemplate what else it could have been – Valve is a government which makes promises, and the promise of civil liberation was the first that the general populace wasn’t so happy about. It doesn’t matter, though; it got delayed, like almost every other piece of major legislation put forward by the Supreme Leader. Who cares about trivial things about liberation when everyone is equal and we have our wonderful hats?
“Everybody gets what they want, and that is beautiful. Thanks for watching. Remember, you can contact me at email@example.com.” He disappears, his rotund visage replaced, again, with the governmental sigil which perennially adorns the television sets of the world.
You have to wonder, though, if they’d use the Team Fortress characters as role models.