Bill Clinton Remains the Greatest Video Game President
Perhaps the oddest Bill Clinton video game contribution comes not from Clinton himself, but from his pet cat Socks. Socks was adopted while the Clintons still lived in Arkansas, having jumped into the arms of Chelsea Clinton as she left the home of her piano teacher. During his time as official White House pet his cartoon image served as a online guide for kids on the White House website, and Hillary Clinton included letters from children to the cat in a 1993 book.
Socks also got his own video game... sort of. The idea for Socks the Cat Rocks the House, developed by Kaneko for the SNES, would be a sidescroller controlling Socks as he tried to get past politicians, photographers, spies, and other enemies in order to warn Clinton about a stolen nuclear missile.
The game was completed but never published in America, oddly, having been released just for the European market. The problem was that the bosses in the game were obvious caricatures of known U.S. politicians, including George H.W. Bush in his sole contribution to the video game industry as a character. Nintendo of America balked at the inclusion of overt political messages in a video game. This was 1993, when Nintendo was still censoring everything to make it as family friendly as possible, though it did get a fairly positive review in Nintendo Power.
Speaking of the 16-bit era, did you know that Sonic the Hedgehog's personality was modeled directly after Bill Clinton's? It's true, and considering that Mario was patterned after an angry landlord it's at least one area where the Sega mascot tops his more successful rival. According to character co-creator Naoto Ōshima, "If there was a problem Bill Clinton took action right away. I saw that American attitude on TV. That was the kind of character I wanted to make."
Thus far, no president has appeared as himself as a voice actor in a video game, but Bill Clinton came the closest. President John Eden in Fallout 3 was offered as a role for the former president. He turned it down, but Lev Chapelsky, who handled the voice talent acquisition for the game holds no grudge against Clinton. Instead, he said he appreciated the frankness, speed, and courtesy of the "no," as opposed to working with Hollywood agents who don't call back for six months.
That's right...not only is Bill Clinton the most prolific video game president, he's one of the most honest and direct people the industry has dealt with. Put that in your sax and blow it.