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He’s in the game

The American president is obviously one of the most widely known people on earth. So perhaps it’s no surprise that he has shown up numerous times throughout gaming history. From FPS to sports games, the president has made appearances as both playable and secondary characters. In honor of America’s President’s Day holiday, here are five of the most memorable presidential appearances in video game history. 

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Howard T Ackerman, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

One of the most beloved strategy games of all time, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 came out back in October of 2008 and once again embraced the series’ narrative of an alternate reality beginning during World War 2. In the game, The Western Allies are tasked with fighting the Soviet Union, although a third world power, called the Empire of the Rising Sun also enters the fray thanks to some unintended consequences of a Soviet time travel mission. 

The president of the Allies, Howard T Ackerman, appears in several hilarious cutscenes, and isn’t afraid to be politically incorrect, at one point proclaiming in a campaign ad: “the future is coming! It’s coming and it’s bringing with it armored Kodiak bears, attack blimps, and enough weaponized robots to turn hope into a four-letter word!”

Of course, the president is played by none other than Hollywood vet J.K. Simmons, who joins a star-studded cast including Tim Curry and George Takei.

 

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JFK and Richard Nixon, Call of Duty: Black Ops

While John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon were actually real presidents, they took on a decidedly fictitious but very hilarious scenario in this Call of Duty game, which was released in 2010. The duo appears together, along with Cuban president Fidel Castro and JFK’s defense secretary Robert McNamara, as a zombie invasion threatens a secure bunker. 

This is one of the only instances where players can actually take control of a real president, and they are rewarded with extremely satisfying voice acting. Case in point, JFK often exclaims after a successful headshot “Like popping a jar of Boston Baked Beans!”

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Solidus Snake (AKA George Sears), Metal Gear Solid 2

In the second Metal Gear Solid game, the character of the President is more complicated than it seems, which is perhaps unsurprising given the stealth game’s creator Hideo Kojima, who is notorious when it comes to intricate plots. In the game, it is revealed that Solidus Snake, who was known as George Sears as the President, is a product of a covert cloning program that was meant to create a super-soldier. Indeed, it turns out that he is another clone of the series’ Big Boss character. 

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Adam Benford, Resident Evil 6

Benford proves that not all presidents appear as gun-toting madmen or evil masterminds. In fact, Benford is one of the few benevolent forces in Resident Evil 6, as he discovers that the previous administration covered up the horrors of the viral outbreak which turned most Racoon City denizens into zombies. His positive intentions don’t last long, however. When he tries to expose the coverup, Derek C Simmons, who is out to release a new virus code-named Tall Oaks, decides to target the president as well. Soon after Benford transforms into a zombie and is quickly dispatched by hero Leon Kennedy.

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Bill Clinton, NBA Jam


Finally, two-term President Bill Clinton seems to only appear in comedic games, as his perhaps most memorable appearance was in 1993’s NBA Jam. In the cartoonish and mildly frustrating SNES title, players could unlock not only the President but also his wife and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In later iterations of the title, Presidents Barak Obama and George W. Bush would also be unlockable. Bill would go on to also appear in hilarious fighting mainstay Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2.

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