Bill Clinton Remains the Greatest Video Game President
Presidents have been appearing in video games at least since the Bad Dudes were sent in to rescue Ronald Reagan from Dragon Ninja back in 1988, but it's a somewhat rare thing to occur outside of obvious indie parody titles. I saw George W. Bush in at least three juvenile online flash games, but you never heard him alluded to as the current president in, say, the Battlefield titles set in modern times even though he totally should be based on the plot and settings.
Duke Nukem: Duke it Out in D.C.
You'd think that if any president would be a solid presence in the video game world it would be Barack Obama. In addition to being a known geek and the first president to run ads inside a video game thanks to buying ad space from Electronic Arts, he received a collector's edition of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings as a present from Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk when he toured Europe in 2008. Though he's been on record against violent games in the past, earlier this year he made a surprise turn toward endorsing them after meeting Mark Zuckerberg and hearing how interest in games led to his career in programming.
Yet even Obama pales in comparison to his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton when it comes to a solid presence on the video game world. In reality, no other president even comes close to Clinton in that department.
Granted, they both do appear as hidden characters in the 2010 NBA Jam along with Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, and Joe Biden, but for Clinton that was a reprise. Both Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, along with wife and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all were featured as hidden characters in the original NBA Jam back in 1994.
He's also been featured as the acting president during times of crisis for America. He's generally accepted as the sitting president in the Strike series, which was most popular during his two terms in office. Granted, it doesn't portray Clinton in the best of lights. Slip to 1:33 in the video above and you'll hear the character of General Earle explain to the newly inaugurated president (played by Carlos Alazraqui) that while he may do as he pleases with domestic policy, foreign policy will handled entirely by the covert military group known as STRIKE.
Though he relinquishes the role to a generic character later on in the series, Bill Clinton is also clearly the president in the Duke Nukem 1997 expansion pack Duke it Out in D.C. as you can see from the portrait that hangs on the wall in the White House alongside attorney general Janet Reno. The Duke is called upon to rescue the president from an invasion of alien scum that descends on Washington. He is never named, but his likeness appears in the ending where Duke saves him from the alien overlord and Clinton erects a statute of Duke on the White House lawn in gratitude.
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