Donald Trump is now president of the United States and though he likely doesn’t indulge in video games too often, we’ve thought of three titles that he may want to try out now that he is sitting in the Oval Office.
You knew there was going to be a game in here about building a wall, so let’s get it over with. About six years ago, Minecraft became a huge gaming phenomenon just as quickly, it seems, as President Trump’s rise to power in 2016. While Trump has demanded that the Mexican government pay for a wall between its nation and the US, the President may want to sit down with the sandbox game and plan an alternate strategy where the United States builds a border wall themselves using square pieces of wood, ore, or gold. If he really wants to get serious, incorporating lava would send a severe message to those Mexicans who are trying to enter illegally, although I expect shipping costs for the material are likely very high. As an added bonus, Trump could get some quality father-son time with 10-year-old Baron as they co-operatively play Minecraft.
Papers, Please: A Dystopian Document Thriller
One of President Trump’s earliest decisions was to place a 90-day immigration ban on those entering from seven countries with Muslim majorities: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For a bit of perspective, Trump may want to blow the dust off his Steam account and boot up the immigration officer simulation game Paper, Please.
While the job of an immigration officer may not immediately sound appealing, developer Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please is about more than just stamping passports. Set in the fictitious country of Arstotzka, where political tensions are high between neighbouring territories, the game sets the player in the role of a poor immigration officer whose ability to accept or reject immigrants is the basis for his pay and subsequently the health and well-being of his family. Sets of rules must be followed by the player and a number of tools – questioning, body scans, fingerprinting – help the player figure out if the entrant is a friend or foe to Arstotzka.
Where Papers, Please gets really interesting is when the player is faced with moral dilemmas. Does the player allow an old woman to enter Arstotzka in order to see her husband of fifty years despite her not having a passport? The game doesn’t really present a “correct” choice – after all, allowing in entrants erroneously means your pay is docked, and your family has less to spend on medicine and food. Papers, Please is an experience that asks the player to question their empathy, something that President Trump has shown little of so far in his short time in the Oval Office.
Alright, so President Trump will not be bothered too much with urban planning or road building, but I mostly just want to give a shout-out to one of the best city simulation games in a long while. Cities: Skylines allows players to construct cities, zone off neighbourhoods, connect citizens to essential services via roads, and then watch as everything they planned falls to pieces. Okay, so success isn’t quite that difficult to attain, but there is a lot to learn in Cities: Skylines and free mods via the Steam: Workshop make the game that much better. The road construction in the game alone is extremely fun, making it feel like you are a kid playing with Lego. As for President Trump, he could use the game to run a few simulations of his budget plan as well as test different methods of dealing with pollution and taxation. Once he learns the basics, he can create Trump City, a land of luxury where no roads lead to the poor neighbourhoods and row upon row of Trump Towers line the downtown vista.