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Obama Gets Sucked into Playing ‘River Raider’ Online; Government Grinds to Halt

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government fell into deep paralysis this week after President Obama developed an addiction to the online shoot-’em-up game River Raider. Legislation, campaigning and policymaking have remained stalled as Obama attempts to reach the scoring plateau of five million points.

Administration officials first suspected a problem on Sunday afternoon when calls to the Oval Office, arranged in advance for particular times, went unanswered. A series of influential Democratic Party contributors had been awarded time to converse individually with the President, but when the operator connected them, all that could be heard was digital sound effects and occasional expressions of frustration or accomplishment.

Walter Espada, a Hollywood producer and frequent Democratic Party donor, reported to White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew that the Obama did not even acknowledge that Espada was at the other end of the line. “I wanted to encourage the President to remain steadfast in his pursuit of healthcare for all Americans,” he said, referring to the health care law under legal challenge from Republicans. “But all I got out of him was, ‘Oh, come on! He was nowhere near me!”

Arthur Skyrim, Professor of Sociology at George Mason University and an expert on video game culture, explained that Obama was having trouble with the boss at the end of Missions 3 and 4 of the game, which can transform into spinning blades that destroy vehicles and harm the player’s character. The blades inflict the damage even if only in proximity to the character or vehicle, and not necessarily in direct contact.

“The President’s jousts with political opponents ill prepared him for some of the conflicts he faces in River Raider,” Skyrim continued. “Although in both cases the opposition is two-dimensional, focuses excessively on the use of guns and doesn’t care about the effects of its constituency on waterways, the similarities end there. The enemy in River Raider is far more sophisticated in its deployment of resources.”

“On the other hand,” he equivocated, “Republicans do seem capable of learning from one encounter to the next, unlike the soldiers in River Raider,” who deploy in an identical manner game after game.

OsamaKiller2012’s River Raider fan art submission.

The President’s devotion to the game reached the point that instead of signing waiting legislation into law, he used the documents on his desk in making fan art for the game. The host site for the game, Miniclip, judged his submission worthy of displaying in their top three fan art slots. It was unclear whether the site administrators were aware of the identity of the artist, who used the screen name OsamaKiller2012.

In a phone interview, Lew conceded that it was perhaps a mistake to allow unfettered internet access from the Oval Office. “We thought initially it would help us muster information resources to help in developing policy and countering our opponents’ initiatives,” he explained. “But over the last week it’s become clear we need some controls.”

“If that’s not an argument for government regulation, I don’t know what is.”

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Written by Thag

June 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I suppose the guy has to feel like he has a chance at winning at something where the mega-millionaires’ money won’t influence the outcome of the game. I say, let the man play. The he may learn some fancy new “stratergies” in the process…

    Lorna's Voice

    June 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    • I also hear Romney’s been playing shoot-’em-up games, but with zombies. He doesn’t get very far, because he’s one of them.


      June 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm

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