Somewhere inside the Beltway today, copies of Just Dance 3 for the Wii and The Sims Plus Pets rode in a presidential caravan with the nuclear football. That, gang, is core game cred.
President Obama picked up the two titles on a photo-op shopping trip to an Alexandria, Va., Best Buy, where he bought gifts for his two daughters and vetoed an associate's upsell to the Xbox 360 version of Just Dance 3. (The Obamas apparently do not have that console.)
Presidential photo opportunities are total theater, containing many hidden messages. CBS News mentioned that an earlier stop to a PetSmart "kept the tab to just over $40," noting that $40 is what the White House says the average family can expect to lose per paycheck if Congressional Republicans don't extend a payroll tax cut as proposed by the president. Forty dollars is, also, a common price for some PC and Wii games.
But here at Kotaku, we dug for deeper meanings as to why Obama would choose these two titles specifically. The answers may shock you.
• The Sims is made by Electronic Arts. Now, Peter Moore, as a dang foreigner, is prohibited from making campaign donations. But not EA CEO John Riccitiello. According to Federal Elections Commission data, he and his wife have given Obama's presidential campaign committee a combined $8,300 over two cycles. Coincidence? John Stossel wouldn't think so.
• The Sims Plus Pets is also a combined PC/Mac version, on the same disc. Buying a combined CD like this is a way for Obama to conceal the fact he is a Mac gamer, just like he tries to conceal his smoking habit.
• Just Dance 3 was made by Ubisoft. Ubisoft is in France. Obama is a Harvard-educated Democrat. Coincidence? Fox News wouldn't think so.
• Obama also did not have a Best Buy Rewards card, which shows how out of touch he is with the average American struggling to put a $175 HDMI cable on the family TV.
• He was also not upsold Geek Squad installation help with Just Dance 3, indicating that all of this is a completely fabricated shopping experience.
I just want to know how close that nuclear football came to the trade-in display. I've been a political pool reporter but never a presidential one, so I don't know if the Marine officer is really carrying it in POTUS' presence or if he just waits in a vehicle outside. But man, could you see Obama trundling that up to a used games buyback counter? "Well, it's an older model, and we stopped accepting launch codes for the Minuteman III back in 2007. But I can give you $30 for it, plus 10 percent if you have a PowerUp rewards card ..."
Obama Goes Christmas Shopping at Best Buy [CBS; image by the Associated Press]