Is it game over for Ron Paul in the Republican Presidential primary? Who knows with all the GOP dramz, but Daniel Williams -- a 27-year-old self-proclaimed “college stopout" (take that, Kanye!) and “Ron Pauler” from Houston-- sure believes his candidate has plenty of lives left. That’s why he’s creating a video game called “Ron Paul: The Road to REVOLution” starring the former Texas Congressman as a Mario-like warrior on a mission to take his libertarian platform to the next level -- like 50+ levels!
It might seem strange that a 76-year-old politician would inspire a retro pixel project, but for serious, the kids are all Ron. As the Chicago Tribune explains it, the elder statesman has nailed the Millennial appreciation for “authentic nerd chic” as Paul's been obsessively pushing his controversial views -- shutting down the Fed, legalizing drugs, ending America's foreign wars -- since before most of us were born.
"Hearing Ron Paul speak, you wouldn't think of him as a politician, and I think that's why he gets so much attention from young people. He doesn't seem like he's several levels above us, he doesn't speak like he has an agenda, he doesn't deal with lobbyists. He comes across as a guy who has our individual interests at heart and has dedicated his life to preserving our liberty," Daniel explains.
And check it, since Youth for Ron Paul was launched this past September, it’s already grown to 591 chapters across the country and recruited more than 53,600 kids. Forget the retirement home circuit -- Grandpa Ron’s been making the rally rounds at college campuses with hella rowdy results.
As Daniel puts it, “Ron is a personal hero of mine, as I'm sure many others will claim. He's a principled guy, as I wish more politicians or public figures in general would be. I think that when someone dedicates their life to promoting liberty, a selfless and noble pursuit, they should be celebrated.”
Which is why Daniel’s been reppin’ Ron for a hot minute -- in fact, he already founded Ron Paul Swag, an e-boutique slinging freedom-lovin’ fashion in an effort to “make liberty sexy.” Ya know, cuz rockin’ a “Ron Paul is My Homeboy” tee is a lot more fun than just telling peeps that you believe in individual rights over government intervention, riiiiight?
And what’s even more fun than wearing your politics on your sleeve? Friggin’ playing ‘em in your console! Okay, you won’t need to dust off your Nintendo since this is gonna be a a free online game, but it does borrow from the old-school classics in terms of design and game play:
Clearly, Ron Paul supporters are stoked about this idea -- after launching his Kickstarter campaign, Daniel reached his fundraising goal of $5,000 in just 3 DAYS. And he’s still taking donations until May 1 as any extra dough will go to developing the mobile version. We caught up with Daniel to get the inside scoop on his libertarian adventure coming to a laptop near you -- so check out his interview below.
MTV Act: What's your ultimate goal for this video game?
Daniel Williams: Really I just want to create something for Ron Paulers to be excited about. Since I've gotten involved, I've found inspiration around every corner and I'm glad to be able to give something back.
The video game is called Road to REVOLution. What's the story behind that title?
Aside from shooting for a catchy title, the REVOLution logo is one of Ron Paul's most recognized, grass-roots branding efforts. Revolution is a loaded word, but to me it represents the reclamation of individual liberty from whatever oppressive entity may be holding it back.
What classic Ron Paul policies are featured in the video game? What political obstacles stand in his way? I thought I noticed giant Romney heads roaming about...
That's actually George W. Bush, but as the game is alpha, he probably won't be in the final cut. In the game, you'll see an emphasis on: sound money, competing currencies, anti-war, anti-violence, pro individualism. There will be plenty of quotes throughout the game as well. As Ron's campaign is one of education, I'm not trying to make the game an alternate reality adventure or anything; just a fun, challenging game that may help to introduce some of the principles Ron is known for. So I won't be getting into political melodrama.
Which of Ron Paul's policies are the most appealing to you as a young voter?
It's a toss-up between anti-war and anti-public debt. The way I see things, they're two sides of the same coin.
Also, do Ron Paul fans have a nickname for themselves?
I hear "Ron Paulers" a lot, or just "Paulers." Some people may consider themselves "Ronverts" if they used to be liberals or neo-conservatives. I like to say that when you're telling people about Ron's policies, you're "Paulinating" (pollinating)
If Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination, and let's be real it's not very likely, how do you plan to show your support for him moving forward? Who will you vote for in a Romney and Obama Presidential race?
Again, I feel that Ron's campaign is very much one of education. If he doesn't get the nomination, I strongly consider his campaign to have been a success. I will continue to support him as a personal hero of mine, and as a paragon of Liberty. I intend to perpetuate the principles he represents, that I share, and I'm sure his other supporters will also. Honestly if Ron doesn't get the nomination I'll write his name in. There's absolutely no point in choosing between Obama and Romney, they're the same person -- both say whatever they think you want to hear enough to gain their seat of power. We've seen what Obama has done with it, God knows what Romney will do.
Do you think young people will be as engaged in this election as they were in 2008?
I think it's apparent that young people are more engaged this election than they were in 2008. Four more years of war, bad economy, bad job market, means that more people are opening their eyes and ears, hoping to find a way to get out of the mess we're in.