Decision 2008: The People Have Spoken
While Crispy Gamer's last-minute write-in campaign for eight different videogame characters didn't result in any real-world votes (at least, we hope it didn't), the results of our online poll give some key insights into the direction the Crispy Nation is heading.
The next First Family.
The big winner, of course, was BioShock's own Big Daddy, whose "tough-on-anything-that- moves" message carried him to a 22 percent plurality among voters worried about the dual threats of crime and terrorism. While the fanatical pro-drilling message probably hurt Big Daddy among environmentally-minded voters, this effect was more than offset by the larger block of voters that were more concerned with safety.
"Big Daddy won huge margins among a portion of the electorate that was voting based primarily on fear," said gaming election expert Samson Bryce. "Specifically, the fear of being impaled by Big Daddy's drill if they didn't vote for him was enough to sway many people's votes." At a subterranean victory rally, Big Daddy spun his drill clockwise for three seconds, then counterclockwise for two seconds, then let out a low, guttural moan. Political analysts are still trying to decipher what this message means.
Tom Nook somberly prepares to address a crowd of supporters following the news of Big Daddy's win.
The Big Daddy win came as heartbreaking news for Tom Nook, who came close to victory with 20 percent of the vote. Nook's experience as a small business owner made him the go-to candidate for many voters during the current economic crisis, but in the end many voters seemed to doubt his judgment on these pocketbook issues.
"Nook's willingness to give high-risk loans to small boys with no real credit history or collateral might have cost him this election," Bryce said. Nook's candidacy was also hurt by his conviction on seven counts of illegally accepting gifts from the mayor's office, charges Nook continues to deny. "While those huge bags of Bells in my house were provided by the mayor's office, they were not an illegal gift," Nook said. "The mayor was just using my house for storage until he could find a suitable bank. No one has been able to prove otherwise."
The Old Snake campaign, which came in just behind Nook in the polls with 19 percent of the vote, seemed a bit dispirited after the disappointing showing. Some say the results reflect the shifting desires of a quickly changing gaming electorate.
Old Snake's campaign kept a close eye on possible voting booth errors.
"Back in the days of the original PlayStation, Snake was a hot young gaming star that seemed to have everything going for him," Bryce said. "Now, his base has narrowed to a core of military-fetishist gun nuts, post-modern Japanese literature majors and portions of the ever-shrinking over-75 game vote. In a PlayStation 3 world, you just can't win with that coalition anymore." In a press release after the results were finalized, Snake had a short, simple message for his loyal constituents: "Ow, my back."
Rounding out the top four was Vault Boy, whose 16 percent of the vote surprised many who thought the base of Fallout fans from 10 years ago would turn out in a big way once again. While the post-apocalyptic mascot remained upbeat in defeat, sources close to his campaign are blaming the loss on the upstart Sackboy, who managed a sixth-place finish and 8 percent of the total vote by siphoning off significant portions of the pro-Boy electorate. Political junkies will remember that Sackboy ran as an Independent after a hard-fought primary in which Vault Boy won the official nomination of the Game Boy party.
"If Sackboy hadn't been running, the Game Boys would have come home to us and we would have won this thing," said one Vault Boy campaign aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid the risk of getting hit by a mini-nuke launcher.
A heated rivalry developed between Sackboy and Vault Boy.
Sackboy dismissed these charges as ridiculous. "Just because Vault Boy has been around for a while, [that] doesn't mean he can demand the unthinking allegiance of every Game Boy out there," he said at a raucous rally after the results were in. "Our strong showing at the polls tonight proved that Boys will be Boys and vote their conscience, not their party. Mark my words, America: the Boys are back in town."
In fifth place, the 12-pack received a surprisingly large 9-percent share of the vote, especially considering that he's never actually been in a videogame. Unfortunately, a drunken accident at a result-watching party in Milwaukee left the candidate with three popped tops and major fluid spillage. The 12-pack is currently in serious but stable condition at Anheuser Busch Memorial Alcoholspital.
Near the bottom of the results list, Nico Bellic garnered only 6 percent of the vote, owing to what exit polls show are worries that he would be too soft on crime. Still, Bellic's share of the vote is the largest ever for a candidate who is not a natural-born U.S. citizen and therefore would have been constitutionally prohibited from becoming president anyway, had he won.
Loco Roco, for his part, blamed his horrid 1 percent return on the influence of shape-ism in the race. "Throughout this campaign, the media hasn't given me a fair shot just because I'm a large, 2-D, yellowish-orange blob," he said. "I look forward to a day when videogame characters will be judged not by the shape of their pixels, but by the content of their controls."