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Normally, I try to keep it casual with PC World's weekly slothfest--and this week was to be no different. The original plan was to dig into the megaton fighting game, Soul Calibur IV , which launched this week for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It looks fantastic, is amazingly replayable, and lets you beat up frenemies over the Internet. Then I flip on the news. Senator McCain jabs at Senator Obama, saying that Barack is akin to Paris Hilton (minus the estrogen and X-rated videos). Obama fires back about GOP tactics. There has to be a more civil way for these two to hash out differences. That's when it hits me: You can create your own custom fighters in Soul Calibur. Yeah, I think you can see where this is going...
White House Calibur
Barack always struck me as a Jeet Kun Do master: nimble, deadly with his words--and with a pair of nunchucks. McCain? This guy's tough as nails. I don't know if I could've made it through half the stuff
Round 1: National Defense
Barack has youth on his side, so of course he's dancing rings around McCain. And the strategy is paying off, at first. He gets a couple combos, laying out a full plan on modernizing the military and
Round 2: Energy and the Environment
The only drilling happening on the Arctic shelf today: a couple nunchuck shots to the head. Both candidates are seeing green these days--seeking cleaner fuels--but here's the billion-dollar question: Do you tear up your own natural resources in the meantime, or do you work out deals with foreign powers? This could be anybody's fight, but a shirtless Obama is getting cold--so he makes quick work of McCain.
Round 3: Video Game Legislation
As our boys continue duking it out over the worldwide issues here,
Below, a couple clips from the grudge match...
... but in case you can't see it,
Real Political Games
All jokes aside for a second, there are a number of other politically charged games out there. Some are innocuous time-wasters draped in politics. Some educate. Some enrage. Some are listed right here for your slackery convenience. And all of 'em are free.
Pork Invaders (http://www.johnmccain.com/videogame/invaders/)
The McCain-centric Space Invaders clone has you controlling a McCain logo that fires vetos up at pork-barrel flying pigs that rain down...arrows? Here's where the GOP failed: I would much rather have seen a Monty Python-style animated McCain head shouting those vetos up at the pigs.
Presidential Pong (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/presidential.pong)
The great current events game-makers at Persuasive Games put together a simple game of pong, as played by your favorite candidates. (Shockwave required.) Each political player has his own presidential power-up. Don't look for any hidden messages here. No sir.
Obama: Race For The White House (http://www.gamesolo.com/flash-game/obama-game.html)
Though Obama's illustrated head is all over this game, it really is a version of the arcade/Web game, Bust-A-Move. The idea: you match up political issues and make them disappear from the screen. If only life were that easy.
Now this is something anybody can get behind--a browser-based political board game that's a take on Life (the game). CNN Student News, C-Span, and History are behind the free educational game. It's been updated for the 2008 elections with more multimedia clips and insights. So go on, take a spin. See if you can make your way to the White House. And--dare I say--learn something in the process. (Shockwave required.)
Well, it's time for the next round in my personal Obama-McCain "debates." Until next week....
Senior Writer Darren Gladstone geeks out over gadgets, games, and odd uses for humdrum tech. In other words, he's a nerd--and he's okay with that.