In something of a political plot twist, Surgeon Simulator, a somewhat goofy game about conducting major operations haphazardly, has added a Donald Trump game-mode. In it, you have to use a variety of tools to give our dearly beloved Republican party nominee apparent a heart transplant. Except, there isn’t a real heart to replace it with. Only one made of gold, or one made of stone.
The issue with surgeon simulator is that, firstly, it has a bit of a steep learning curve. Learning how to smash someone’s rib cage sufficiently to access their lungs and liver without draining them of blood, as it turns out, is quite hard. With each finger on the doctor’s hand having a different key binding, picking up any of the somewhat worrying tools is actually a challenge unto itself. So, as you can imagine, Trump has died a very large number of times under these tools.
And they’re a weird bunch of tools; Mr. Trump gets to experience a laser, golden scalpels and other ridiculous equipment, including a scale model of Trump Tower. As such, you can probably tell by now that this game is not meant to be taken seriously. Except, for the small fact that it just added this highly politicised mode involving Mr. Trump, anyway.
The idea that it is acceptable to make a game mode based purely around cutting bits out of a politician is an interesting one, albeit one that makes me slightly uneasy. Whilst it is widely acknowledged that you either really love or hate ‘the Donald’, the fact that a game mode has been released for money that is purely based around conducting violent acts towards him is simultaneously amusing and concerning. Whilst it shows he has really riled up a lot of people, it raises the question of whether we should really be making games about harming real people for our own amusement.
Whilst, admittedly, it is confined to the digital realms, this game does come at a time when tensions are running high. Protestors and Trump supporters have clashed, time and again. I may not like the Donald, but in some ways, this is game is pushing the boundaries at a time when perhaps they should be left alone. However, at the same time, we have seen thousands of games set in ‘fictional’ Middle Eastern settings for players to ‘heroically’ blow up ‘terrorists’ in a totally blunt reference to various ongoing conflicts. Perhaps it’s the turn of someone closer to home to bear the brunt of this violence?
There is, however, an achievement within the game mode that is unlocked by pulling Trump’s hair to see if it’s a wig. So, perhaps it’s not all that bad.