Before he was a Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) was the star of his own computer game — and it’s basically the most Bernie Sanders thing ever.
The game, “Bernie Arcade,” was featured on his campaign site beginning in the 2006 race during which he won his Senate seat. You can still play the game, thanks to the web archive.
It features many of the themes on which Sanders has focused while earning a reputation as one of the most outspoken liberals in Congress.
Players pilot a small Sanders character as he flies a plane (fuelled with environmentally friendly hydrogen, of course) against a series of obstacles, including the “extreme right wing,” “big money special interests,” “mudslingers,” and, most dangerously, “fat cats.” The “fat cats” are symbolized by actual top-hat-wearing kitties that fling themselves at Sanders’ plane.
“Bernie Arcade” also plays off Sanders’ reputation for wonkishness. Sanders confronts these threats by blasting them with “fact sheets.” If his plane is hit, you hear his voice spouting several catch phrases — “absolutely abysmal,” “you’re being bombarded,” and “disastrous.” When the game is over, it takes an optimistic note and the voice of Sanders praises your score.
“The good news is — and there is some good news out there — that is an unbelievable number,” he says.
The whole game plays against a rollicking bluegrass soundtrack. Sanders’ site noted the banjo tunes were of local origin and came from “Vermont’s own Cleary Brothers.”
Play “Bernie Arcade” for yourself here.
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