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Gaming’s Most Iconic Presidents

America loves its leaders. From Abraham Lincoln to Obama, and mostly everyone in between. And on this year’s President’s Day GeekNewsNow would like to pay tribute to America’s most iconic leaders, both fictional and real, and their shaping of the video game landscape. Here are our five favorite presidents in gaming!

John Henry Eden (Fallout 3)

John Henry Eden (voiced by the legendary Malcolm Mcdowell) stands out as an iconic figure in video games, particularly within the Fallout series. As the self-proclaimed President of the Enclave and the United States his existence as a sentient supercomputer puts a twist on traditional expectations of what a leader is. This twist on leadership introduces players to a world where artificial intelligence has not only achieved self-awareness but has also assumed the highest position of power in the remnants of the United States government.

U.S. President, John Henry Eden

What makes Eden a very interesting figure is his use of patriotic rhetoric and charisma to influence the wasteland and its inhabitants. He does the same kind of thing FDR did with his “fireside chats” by chiming in on the radio with updates on the game’s world.

Eden’s plan to use a modified FEV virus to “purify” the wasteland by eliminating all mutated life forms creates an ethical dilemma and forces the player to meditate on what is the best solution for the Capital Wasteland going forward. You can even destroy him if you wish or follow along with his eugenics project. President Eden shows the dark side of power when it is placed on an imperfect being, and for that he has earned a place on this list.

George Sears A.K.A. Solidus Snake (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty)

George Sears, known by his codename Solidus Snake, is an iconic figure in video games, especially within the Metal Gear Solid series. As the 43rd President of the United States and a product of the Les Enfants Terribles project, Solidus’s character is a complex mix of political power, military prowess, and ambitious ideals. His tenure as president in Metal Gear Solid and later as an antagonist in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty makes for an iconic gaming figure.

43rd President George Sears(Solidus Snake) in action figure form.

What sets Solidus apart is his nature; he is not just a president but also a warrior, a mentor, and a visionary antagonist with a nuanced philosophy. His ambitions to free the world from the control of the Patriots, a shadowy organization manipulating global events, shows a character driven by a desire for liberty, albeit through extreme and morally gray methods. His motives put him in a unique position, challenging the player’s ideas of villainy and heroism.

Solidus’s expertise in combat with swords and firearms, his use of high-tech exoskeleton armor, and his role as a mentor to Raiden, the game’s protagonist, further make him a memorable figure. Fighting him on the roof of the New York Stock Exchange in a katana showdown, and him dying at the foot of the statue of George Washington (the first U.S. President) is probably the most memorable thing about President Sears.

George Washington (Assassin’s Creed 3)

George Washington’s portrayal in Assassin’s Creed III is a fascinating depiction of a historical figure within the realm of video games. As the first President of the United States, Washington is usually revered in American history; however, Assassin’s Creed III explores the moral grayness of his character. This game presents him not only as a founding father but also as a human being with vulnerabilities and faults, making him a far more relatable figure.

Washington meeting the player’s character, Connor, at Westpoint.

He begins a friendship with the main character, Connor (a native american who allies with the Assassins against the scheming Templars), who on more than one occasion saves Washington’s life from said Templars (namely Charles Lee). This friendship becomes damaged however when Connor finds out that Washington was responsible for destroying Indian villages that allied with the Loyalists and the in-direct death of his mother.

This soured their relationship but the two continued to work together less frequently as they still had a common enemy. The DLC (downloadable content) for the game, The Tyranny of King Washington depicts an alternate history/reality where Washington crowned himself King and became a mad tyrant, but it is revealed to be merely a vision.

Theodore Roosevelt (Sid Meier’s Civilization VI)

Teddy’s portrayal in Civilization 6 stands out as an interesting representation of an American president in video games, capturing the essence of his historical significance and leadership qualities in a strategic game. When it comes to being a “man’s man” no one is manlier in the history of the United States than ‘ol Teddy Roosevelt.

That’s how my Rough Riders roll.

As the leader of the American faction in the game, Roosevelt embodies the “Rough Rider” persona, reflecting his tough foreign policy and progressive domestic reforms. His ability, “Roosevelt Corollary,” boosts the combat strength of units on the American continent and provides bonuses to National Parks, emphasizing his commitment to American sovereignty and environmental conservation.

This not only encourages players to focus on continent expansion and park creation but also educates them on Roosevelt’s environmental legacy and the concept of “Big Stick” diplomacy. I’d argue it is probably the best depiction of a real life President’s contributions translated to a video game format.

Closing Thoughts

I would love to see more portrayals of Presidents in videogaming overall. I think video games have a unique platform to showcase and educate gamers overall about the lives and histories of many iconic American figures. What do you guys think? Would you have added a different President to the list? Who would you have wanted to see on here? Sound off in the comment section on the main site, we always love to check it out! Be sure to follow GNN on our socials such as Twitter/X right here, and also our Facebook page here. As always, stay geeky out there.

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