Simulators that turn you into a goat or a bear are great, don't get me wrong. But eating grass and doing other goat things just gets boring after awhile. The simulator I really want is one for a side character from a Grand Theft Auto game, a sim in which you get to flout all laws and human decency in hyper-realistic fashion.
Which brings us to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who's still making headlines for erratic, boorish behavior—the type of behavior that none of the rest of us would get away with, which is exactly why it's the type of behavior worth simulating. If I want to be a goat, I'll go out in the yard and be a damn goat; if I want to smoke crack, jam to reggae in council chambers, and still run a major metropolis… well, it's going to have to be a digital-only experience. (For now!)
Thankfully, the internet has come to the rescue:
Stay Mayor is a delightful little mobile game that was released by Extra! Extra! Games, which is naturally headquartered in Toronto. In the game, you do your best to avoid a hoard of paparazzi while Hoovering up food and money and throwing footballs at cameramen.
It's pretty fun, albeit a bit one-dimensional. I did like the music a fair bit, as it offers a kind of campy, carefree vibe that I imagine Ford would be chill with, especially if we were on a yacht off the coast of some tax haven somewhere.
Simulation-wise, however, the game disappoints. First is the major problem that crack pipes are a HINDRANCE to Ford's escape. Yes, I'm sure the long-term effects of smoking crack will hurt your ability to run, but the fact that simu-Ford runs faster after sucking down a bucket of chicken versus ripping rock just seems ridiculous. It does win points for the realism of the camera-barriers though:
Overall, the game isn't bad, but it doesn't quite represent the full depth of the Rob Ford Experience. I rate it 3/5 Fords.
Rob Ford The Game
Rob Ford The Game is a browser-based platformer built by persons unknown whose only goal appears to be to consume as much weed, crack cocaine, and liquor as possible, while also running around Toronto and squishing police and cameramen. Already we're getting into quality sim territory here, and if you add in all of the terse, random sayings and blathering, you're getting pretty close to what I imagine the Rob Ford condition is.
But then it gets real: Rob Ford The Game does not appear to have any way to win or advance. The police and cameramen don't really harm you, they just slow you down while searching for more mind-altering substances. Essentially, the game sticks you in some sort of weird purgatory of drugs and public drama that can only end when the clock stops.
The game says "You've been impeached" when it all comes to an end, and I assume that means in the cosmic sense, as Mayor Ford appears to have his current job fairly well secured. But in the career of life? Who knows, to be honest.
And that's where Rob Ford The Game shines: It's impossible to know exactly what it's like to live the Rob Ford Condition, but there must be a point where you realize that the lunacy is catching up to you, you've got nowhere else to go, and that time is slipping away.
Seriously, what job could Ford have post-mayorship? (Talk show host, presumably.) What's life going to be like for him if he doesn't win re-election? Probably similar to how it is now, but without the glitz and the glamor. That's what a Rob Ford simulator would need to capture: The crushing realization that you're trapped in a Canadian box of hedonism, and there's no way to escape until your time runs out. Of course, the game isn't actually very fun, but I suppose that's part of the realism. I give this 4/5 Fords, would simulate again.
Bonus Ultimate Sim Mode
Now, for the real hardcore sim dorks, there's another option: You could put on High Grade Ganja Anthems, which is helpfully embedded below, then get twisted out of your gourd and go get into a fistfight at a hockey game. If only this version had Oculus Rift support. I don't recommend you actually do this, as it's largely criminal, but it's certainly the most realistic, so I give it 4.6/5 Fords.