Why Donald Trump is the Perfect President for Retro Gamers
It was the ’80s. Reagan was in the White House, Wall Street was booming, and the “me” generation was in full swing. Video games had started their meteoric rise to popularity and with the arrival of the NES in ’85, kids everywhere had found the go-to toy (yes, it was indeed nothing more than a toy in those days). As for the games, they were simple and straightforward, kinda the way life in general felt for many of us, right?
Well, that’s why Donald J. Trump is the perfect president for the retro gaming world. Does he not fit the world of Contra like the final puzzle piece slipping into place? Isn’t he exactly the president you sort of pictured when you were rampaging through the streets in Double Dragon, doling out your own brand of justice? Wouldn’t Trump be the guy who backed our endless forays into legions of faceless oncoming forces of all kinds? We were always a one-man army in those days and though extremely fragile (far more so than the heroes in modern games), we were out to save the damn world. Trump says he’s gonna do that, so it fits.
Rescuing the damsel in distress is a theme Trump should appreciate as well, even if gamers weren’t really allowed to have their way with Princess Peach after dropping Bowser into the lava. Not that Trump supports rape, or anything sinister like that, but there is a strong, traditional male/female overtone in his campaign, right? And what about the epic battle between the SNES and Genesis? Didn’t the election feel a little like that at times? I had friends who were convinced Sega was the wave of the future, that the Genesis had superior hardware and Nintendo wouldn’t, couldn’t last. Sega was it.
But in the long run, we find that Sega, the supposed favorite at the time, is no longer in the picture. Nintendo is back and after a few missteps – the Wii U was a disgrace – they’re comin’ in with the Switch…and isn’t that all sorts of symbolic? After years of letting the liberals run this country into the ground, Americans have decided to switch back to the political party that brought them out of a massive recession in the late ’70s and allowed us to blossom in the ’80s. Sure, there were problems. But we got things like car phones and Hummers and Stallone and Schwarzenegger movies. We got video games that were very much like those movies, very similar to the bravado so many Americans had and felt in that decade.
Trump may have his flaws. He may not be the deepest, most complex guy. But neither were our games then, right? They were all straight-shooters, much like our new president, and they all had clear goals for the gamer. There was no ambiguity, no worry about who was offending who (“offend this,” with a big ol’ uppercut would’ve been the response), no wandering around stuffing money and other resources into outstretched hands just because they were there. Nope, press forward, eliminate all in our wake, and win the day. Now, of course, we need to have Trump in a retro game ala Streets of Rage or, maybe even more fittingly, Bad Dudes. It could single-handedly revive the arcade scene; it would be just so nostalgic on a dozen different levels.
Trump is in and that’s that. Makes me want to fire up my SNES again and horde quarters for my next trip to the mall.