Saturday, February 7, 2009


Courtesy of The Escapist:

Barack Obama Comes To Street Fighter
Keane Ng posted on 6 Feb 2009 3:54 pm

No, he's not unlockable in Street Fighter 4, sadly. But he's going to be playable in the oddball Japan-only Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation, and it looks like he can sling fireballs with the best of them.

Sporting a debonair tuxedo and cartoonishly big teeth (yeah, I don't know), Obama seems like a force to be reckoned with in Street Fighter Online. You can make him say "YES WE CAN" in a gigantic word bubble, and he's got a standard fireball attack too. He also looks like he's been training with Balrog - Virtua Fighter 2 looking graphics aside, this version of the Commander In Chief is decidedly beefy. He'll be arriving in the game on Valentine's Day as part of a promotion that also includes playable chocolate figurine chracters and a Zangief who has what look like clam shells for shoulder guards?

If you really want to play as Obama in a fighting game, I'd say dig around for the inevitable MUGEN version with Obama as a character, possibly as overpowered as Omega Tom Hanks. You probably do not want to play Mouse Generation. It's online yes, which is cool, but it's also a Street Fighter that is solely controllable using your mouse. You left-click to punch, right-click to kick and swoop around your mouse like a fool to do special moves. The character models are based on action figures, and body parts can be swapped between them (like action figures) to make customized characters. So, Barack Obama torso and head, Zangief arms and Chun-Li legs? Yes, please.

Now, as for the real question here: Is this racist?

This is too awesome to even comment on...


  1. "Is this racist? This is too awesome to even comment on..."

    I don't know, but there is something interesting about the way you put that; context always matters, and putting big teeth on a black guy who isn't president is not the same as putting it on someone who is. Or rather, it's interesting to think about how Obama being untouchable by that kind of stereotype (if he is? I'm not sure) also might have the effect of diminishing that stereotype in a general sense. just thinking out loud...

  2. Good questions, though I should have perhaps separate the penultimate and ultimate lines from each other: everything from "Barack" to "racist?" is from the Escapist, and I should have made a better effort to indicate that. Now, the way in which black people are stereotyped in Japan is a topic for another day, and something that I know very little on, based entirely on second-hand sources and testimonies. Regardless, this is a tough issue, because you have to balance out intent with perception (I can easily see people getting offended over this, and for viable reasons), but I have to play a few rounds before I can comment further.

    PS I am waiting to put up my discussion of Resident Evil 5, which EVERYONE will be hearing about the closer it is to release.