This week the US government has come to a grinding halt over an ideological impasse with no resolution in sight. While dilatory talks of bipartisan compromise drag on, federal spending deemed non-essential has been cut and anarchists run amok in the streets. As the debt ceiling deadline of October 17 looms nearer, the possibility of government financial default increases. Wherever the blame may lie in this political fiasco, it remains clear that the very legislators we elected have failed us, miserably. Democracy is broken—this was the fatalistic conclusion I arrived at while waiting to log on to the inundated Grand Theft Auto V Online servers.
In this dark despair a ray of shining light has given me hope in the democratic process once more. Mighty No. 9, a Kickstarter project started by famed game creator Keiji Inafune (Rockman, Onimusha, Dead Rising) managed to smash its initial goal of $900,000 and eventually reached $4 million in combined backer pledges while the bureaucrats bickered on Capitol Hill. Fans voted with a fistful of dollars and revived the classic Japanese 2D side-scrolling genre not just on PC, but on every mainstream home and handheld console known to mankind (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii U, Mac, Linux, and PC). Unable to successfully reboot the Mega Man (aka Rockman) franchise during his tenure at Capcom, Mr. Inafune established his own independent studio called Comcept, in large part to secure the creative freedom he started with but no longer had. As the spiritual successor to the Rockman series, Mighty No. 9 and the successful Kickstarter campaign is an inspirational tale of consumer power united with a producer’s undying passion triumphing over corporate bureaucracy.
Despite whatever the political pundits may say, the democratic dream is not dead. Now if we can just get Mr. Inafune to kindly release Mighty No. 9 on Android Play Store so we can play it on our M.O.J.O. Micro-Console for Android, we could pass time merrily at home, playing until our legislators press the restart button after the government shutdown.