Because gamers need to know if their politicians are crooks.
Welcome to 2012, everyone! We hope you've had a nice two days of recovering from the furious hangover with which you invariably ushered in this new year, but now it's time to get down to business. CAUCUS BUSINESS.
That's right, people. It's time to huddle together in mobs and talk loudly about who we would like to be president. It's the 2012 Iowa Caucuses today. The outcome of these caucuses will be scientifically analyzed and a winner will be selected. This candidate will then go on emboldened by his (or her, but let's be honest, it's not going to be her) victory and then may or may not be immediately forgotten.
But while this event of clear national importance takes place in a state of dubious national importance, let us all -- Iowan and non-Iowan, American and non-American, the fervent among us as well as the apathetic -- yes, let us all ask the pressing questions about video games and the politicians within them. And let us be thankful that none of the figures mentioned below can be elected to any form of real-life office.
This is Ten Slimiest Politicians in Video Games: Part 2!
5.) Bill Taggart - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Bill Taggart doesn't like your shiny new arms.
[DX:HR Spoilers -- unless you've played it already or your "I don't give a shit" meter is augmented, I'd skip to number four.]
Bill Taggart is one of the more outspoken opponents of human augmentation in the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and that's saying something, since pretty much everyone you run into in the game is mean to you because you have cool metal arms and sunglasses built into your face.
Taggart is maybe the most genuine of the figures on this list -- he believes what he believes because of a lost loved one, and he seems to actually want to help people achieve "purity."
However, he incites violence with his anti-augmentation rhetoric and harbors extremists within his organization -- including his top aide, who helped with the logistics of the attack that begins the game. He is highly condescending and feels that everything he sees vindicates his stance of augmentation.
Slimiest Moment: When you publicly confront Taggart about the whereabouts of his rogue aide, the guy tries to redirect the conversation toward how traumatized you are by your own augmentation. Jesus, let the stump speech go for a second, man!
4.) Thomas Stubbs III - GTA IV
Dick? In MY video games? It's more likely than you think.
At the premiere of the first part of this Top Ten list, I was accused of shamelessly crowdsourcing by splitting the list into two, so that I could sift through the comments on the first part of the list and use the ideas of posters for the second part. While I deny that this was my original intent, I will now steal a suggestion directly posited by commenter Skikes Dubois. But I do not do so shamelessly. I do so with a great deal of shame.
Honestly, I still haven't played GTA IV or any of its expansions. But after doing some research this guy is top-notch slimy. Stubbs violates nearly every ethical code of public service by killing and spying his way to more power.
Slimiest Moment: Full frontal. All the way. I got the above image while at my day job, and even with Safesearch fully engaged I had to wade bravely through a veritable flood of dong just to find one clothed picture of Stubbs on Google. Have some modesty, man!
3.) Agahnim - The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past
In Hyrule, shooting magic death bolts at people is considered "retail politics."
This may be a bit of a reach. God knows I love Zelda enough that my emotions may be getting in the way. But I always thought of Agahnim as the sneaky, corrupt politician alter-ego to Ganon's outright evil pig abomination. If they weren't parts of the same malicious being, they might make good running mates!
The story goes that Agahnim has secured power in Hyrule as a chief advisor to the king, but uses this position to usurp the throne and break the ancient seal that confines the worst evil to the Dark World. Though the breaking of the seal does do some cool stuff like allow access to the Hookshot and give you a chance to make friends with the Rupee Monkey (this is one savvy fucking monkey who knows how to make a living off of his monkey skills), it also does some pretty lame stuff involving maidens and crystals.
Slimiest Moment: This guy is constantly sending maidens to distant lands in crystal prisons. While it's good that Agahnim never sends them tweets of his Master Sword, as some politicians tend to, this is still really uncool.
2.) Frank Fontaine - Bioshock
Campaign flagging? In need of a surge? Hook yourself up to psychic power fluid!
Spoiler alert for this entry if you haven't played the game, because even though we've passed the five-year courtesy mark, I'd hate to ruin the outstanding plot for anyone who has yet to take the bathysphere to hell that is Bioshock.
Is everybody gone who never played Bioshock? Yeah? Okay, great. Then we can talk about how Fontaine is a giant, giant asshole. I know this pick kind of blurs the line between politician and mob boss a little bit, but I think it's justified. Frank Fontaine, using everything at his disposal from smuggling to straight-up mind control, brutally wrests power from the founder and de facto mayor of Rapture, Andrew Ryan. And while Ryan is no Abraham Lincoln in terms of spotless political records, at least he believes in his bullshit. The only thing Fontaine believes in is power.
Slimiest Moment: Fontaine controls your every action by saying a cute little phrase. It would be like if you found out that every time Herman Cain said "9-9-9" he was actually activating a mind control mechanism that made you donate to a Super PAC.
1.) You - SimCity
One phone call to her alien pals and the mayor's boredom is cured! Cost to city: $4 billion worth of property damage and countless incinerated human beings.
So maybe you are that one SimCity player who is in it for the good of your simulated city. You want your administration to usher in a golden age for this city, lifting it from humble beginnings to lofty heights. Perhaps you are the ideal mayor, in it for all the right reasons, and maybe you refuse to let the power you hold over all those Sim lives affect you in any way.
But let's not lie to each other. If you're reading this and you've played SimCity, you are most likely guilty of an array of political crimes ranging from something as simple as misuse of city funds to something as sinister as the establishment of what is pretty much a municipal dictatorship.
If you play SimCity anything like I do, you've built sports stadiums in the middle of the woods outside of town and zoos directly adjacent to nuclear power plants. Your rail system doesn't make any sense and your roads are hellish loops of traffic chaos.
But, more chillingly, you've essentially made yourself emperor of the city. Besides the constant bitching of your aide, you encounter little opposition to your plans, even if they are nightmarish. You don't worry about being voted out of office, because you are the most powerful mayor in the universe.
Slimiest Moment: I think it was that one time you got bored and so you triggered simultaneous fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and Godzilla attacks upon your unsuspecting populace. That's not going to look good when you run for governor.