We are John Teasdale and Justin Robert Young, creators of the game The Contender. Because of our natural love of both Presidents and video games, we wondered, "Which of America’s 45 Presidents would win a real life game of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds?" We didn't just wonder ... we needed to know the answer. So we gave each and every president stats based on various categories and set up some rules ...
At the moment each President's hand touches the Bible on their inauguration day, they are teleported through time and space to prepare for the ultimate last-man-standing battle royale. They arrive, armed only with what they were wearing and with the fitness and knowledge they had when they took their Oath of Office. The sole exception is that they know the following rules.
RULE 1: The presidents are currently in a waiting area. In two minutes, they will be transported to a cargo plane from which they must parachute onto an 7x7 km island. The island is littered with modern weapons, vehicles and abandoned buildings. The only way off is to be the last one alive.
RULE 2: The play area shrinks incrementally until it disappears or the game ends, and if you venture outside the play area, you die.
Death by map, baby.
RULE 3: Crates containing advanced weapons, including sniper rifles, will occasionally drop from the sky. These will be marked by a large plume of smoke.
Bill Clinton’s arms strain against the weight of the parachute handles as he floats toward the island. A few hundred meters below is Donald Trump, whose presence in this game is so intriguing that Bill had to investigate. Barack Obama, who would otherwise be alone, has followed them out of the plane. All of a sudden, without any audio or visual cue, they know the game has claimed its first casualties.
William H. Taft (#27) is too heavy for the M-4 Ram-Air Parachute, which is rated for 350 lbs (inclusive of its own weight). The chute fails, and he dies on impact.
James Madison (#4) is chronically unfit, prone to epileptic paralysis and weighs under 100 lbs. He loses controls of the parachute, crashes, and dies on impact.
Trump, no lightweight himself, survives the landing with a broken leg and hauls himself into a nearby house. When Clinton and Obama touchdown, Clinton runs to check on Trump. Obama, not trusting of Bill after his comments during the ‘08 primary, waits behind. As Clinton approaches the door, he is hit by a shotgun blast to his arm. “But Donald,” he implores, “we’re friends!” Trump, lying on the floor, pumps the shotgun and winces as he props himself up on his elbow. Trump aims the gun back at Bill. “Fake news,” he says before pulling the trigger.
Bill Clinton (#42) is killed by Donald Trump with a pump shotgun.
Man, the graphics on this game are WEIRD lookin'.
Barack Obama bolts for the forest, still unarmed.
Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk touch down in an abandoned military base. They can see the tops of several other parachutes in the area. Martin Van Buren opens his coat, revealing the two pistols he was wearing during his inauguration. “Always a good time to carry, friend,” he says, tossing one of the pistols to Jackson. Van Buren turns and starts toward a hanger before hearing a loud noise.
Martin Van Buren (#8) is shot by Andrew Jackson with a stupid, old-timey, muzzle-loading pistol.
“There are no friends,” Jackson’s voice cracks. James Polk has a terrible expression on his face, which isn’t improved when Jackson repeatedly slams the empty muzzleloader into it.
James K Polk (#11) is beaten to death by Andrew Jackson.
Jackson stands up, bloodied, and grabs the other pistol off Van Buren’s body before running into a nearby armory. In one of the rooms, he see the back of Ulysses S. Grant, who is puzzling over an AK-47.
Ulysses S. Grant (#18) killed by Andrew Jackson with the second stupid, old-timey, muzzle-loading pistol.
As Grant’s body falls, the safety on the machine gun disengages and lets off a four round automatic burst, shattering a window and putting 3 holes in the wall. Jackson looks at the gun, then at the holes, then back to the gun. Outside the window, he hears three voices arguing and the sound of a motorcycle engine starting. He smiles.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (#34) shot by Andrew Jackson with an AK-47.
"No fair, I wasn't wearing my combat uniform."
John Q. Adams (#6) accidentally shoots himself several times with a Micro Uzi.
Chester A. Arthur, who rolled his ankle during the jump, is being helped along by James A. Garfield when the knowledge comes that the game zone is about to start shrinking. If left alone, Arthur will surely die out of the zone. But if Garfield helps him, they both might. Garfield is saved from this moral dilemma when ...
James A. Garfield (#20) run over by a jeep driven by John F. Kennedy
Chester A. Arthur (#21) run over by a jeep driven by John F. Kennedy
The play zone shrinks. Bringing a huge harvest of executive death.
William Henry Harrison (#9) - Dies out of zone. Can’t run because he has pneumonia.
Benjamin Harrison (#23) - Dies out of zone, helping his grandfather.
Andrew Johnson (#17) - Dies out of zone. Can’t run because he has typhoid fever.
John Adams (#2) - Dies out of zone. Was not a good physical specimen, and his health tends to deteriorate in stressful circumstances.
Woodrow Wilson (#28) - Dies out of zone. No stamina.
James Buchanan (#15) - Shot by FDR with a micro-uzi.
Zachary Taylor (#12) - Dies out of zone. No stamina.
Donald Trump, immobilized from his paragliding accident sees the first weapons crate floating to the ground in the distance. He curses loudly, but there is no one around to hear it.
Donald Trump (#45) - Dies out of zone.
Grover Cleveland (#22) and
Grover Cleveland (#24) are also overweight and were injured in the landing. They die out of zone.
"I call hax."
Barack Obama looks down at the weapon crate spewing smoke in a field at the bottom of a small valley. From his hiding place, he can see most of the terrain. It seems empty, but there is a lot of foliage and potential hiding places on the slopes surrounding the clearing. He thinks twice and just hangs back.
Suddenly, an out of breath Calvin Coolidge appears, running towards the crate. Gunfire erupts from the bushes on the opposite hill.
Calvin Coolidge (#30) - killed by George W. Bush with an M-16.
Obama lies motionless, not happy about being proven right. He barely makes out a whispered voice, far to his left.
“See, that’s why we waited”.
Richard Nixon steps into the clearing. He pauses for a second before running toward the crate. Once again, the sound of gunfire erupts from the Bushes on the opposite hill, and Nixon falls.
“Just be patient,” Obama thinks. The sound of a motorcycle engine grows louder, and an exchange of gunfire occurs close to, but not exactly from, where the Bushes are camped out.
Warren G. Harding (#29) Shot by Franklin D. Roosevelt with a micro-uzi
Obama can see the father and son take off in the other direction, deciding the area is getting a little too hot. Resolved to get what’s in the crate, Obama decides to wait out whoever Nixon was talking to.
Two minutes later Ronald Reagan jogs into the clearing. He reaches the crate and pulls out a sniper rifle with five bullets and a scope. Using the crate as cover, he hunches over, loads the rifle, and starts to attach the scope.
His back is to Obama.
Obama’s breath catches and his grip tightens on the sharpened stick he’s holding. His muscles tense to run forward when another figure strides into the clearing. The man takes long, silent steps towards the Great Communicator, and levels a pistol to the back of his head.
Ronald Reagan (#40) - killed by Abraham Lincoln with a Glock
"Fine. I needed a bio break anyway."
Lincoln bends over to pick up the rifle. Suddenly, Richard Nixon sits up, his torn suit revealing a damaged bulletproof vest. He starts shooting, but the bullets only graze Lincoln's narrow frame.
Richard Nixon (#40) - killed by Abraham Lincoln with a sniper rifle.
Obama decides that the contents of the crate probably aren’t worth the hassle and retreats.
The wind pushes Harry S. Truman’s glasses into his face as he races his motorcycle along a paved road. FDR reloads his Uzi in the attached sidecar and points at two figures heading toward a small house in the distance.
One man is obviously exhausted and being helped along by the other. FDR and Truman close the distance quickly, and FDR opens fire. Most bullets miss, but it’s an Uzi.
Rutherford B. Hayes (#19) - killed by FDR with an Uzi.
Truman slows the bike to a stop and pulls out a shotgun. The other man, William McKinley, who was also wounded by FDR, releases Hayes’ body, pulls out a pistol and manages to squeeze off one shot before Truman empties both barrels.
William McKinley (#25) killed by Harry S. Truman with a double barrel shotgun.
Truman touches his head where the bullet grazed him -- it feels wet, and his glasses slide off his face, broken. He guns the engine as Theodore Roosevelt rounds the corner, brandishing a machete and loosing rounds from a handgun. Truman's knuckles turn white, and he revs the engine up to full speed.
“Cowards!” screams Teddy.
Truman hits a bump and the motorbike flips. As FDR gets a glimpse of the their pursuer, his last words are, “Cousin Theodore?”
Franklin D. Roosevelt (#32) killed in a motorcycle accident.
Harry S. Truman (#33) killed in a motorcycle accident.
"We're not playing Mario Kart, buttholes!"
The zone begins to shrink again.
John F. Kennedy is driving along the edge of the shrinking game zone. His old family friend, Herbert Hoover, relaxes in the passenger seat. Lyndon B. Johnson sits in the back. As they cruise across a bridge, he wonders aloud who has arranged this horrific competition and if there is a way they could reach out to the other presidents.
Maybe they could all find a way to...
John F Kennedy (#35) Killed by Abraham Lincoln with a sniper rifle.
Herbert Hoover (#31) Killed by Abraham Lincoln with a sniper rifle.
Atop a grassy hill overlooking the roadway, Lincoln loads another round into the chamber. He looks through the scope again to find LBJ still sitting in the car, his hand clutching his chest.
Lyndon B Johnson (#36) Dies of a heart attack.
The zone shrinks further.
James Buchanan (#15) Dysentery has left him dehydrated and unable to continue. Death out of zone.
It didn’t take long for them to realized they’d be counted out. But that isn’t new to The Virginia Boys.
George Washington at the wheel: “Driving is hard, but not harder than to kill another President. The idea’s a non starter.”
James Monroe, riding shotgun: “I am older now, and smarter, I did not survive the Revolution to become a martyr.”
Thomas Jefferson is on the roof. He shoots at ...
Jimmy Carter (#39) shot by Thomas Jefferson with an M4.
"Your MOM was shot with an M4!"
The car carrying the remaining founding fathers swerves along a straight half mile of road, toward an apartment complex. Millard Fillmore is exchanging gunfire with a winded Franklin Pierce.
Millard Fillmore (#13) shot by James Monroe with a shotgun.
Franklin Pierce (#14) shot by Thomas Jefferson with an M4.
As they pass by, Jefferson spots a third person peeking his head around the corner of a building and shouts down to Washington, who steers the car into a ditch where it gets stuck. Washington, resigned, steps out of the car, unsheathes his sword and shouts to the others to charge.
“AMBUSH!” he cries, a second too late.
Thomas Jefferson (#3) shot by George H.W. Bush with a M16.
James Monroe (#5) shot by George H.W. Bush with a M16.
Washington picks himself and his dislodged dentures up and takes cover in the hallway.
A chuckle came from above. “Three Georges, do you think he’d join us?” They both laugh.
Washington hears a sound that he’d learned meant reloading. He grits his teeth in his fist, and retreats through another exit.
The game zone shrinks again.
Atop another nearby hill, Barack Obama watches Washington evade the Bushes. The first President’s escape is aided when the Bushes notice Gerald Ford, running toward the center of the the final play area.
The Bushes immediately give chase, but after half a mile, Bush 41 lags behind and takes refuge in a small concrete shed with windows at eye level. Obama realizes it will likely be right in the middle of the final game zone.
Gerald Ford (#38) Killed by George W. Bush with an M-16.
"Sorry, guys. I didn't have my headset on. Anyone up for COD?"
Obama is startled by the gun shot, but is more startled by the voice behind him. “What do we have here,” it asks.
Barack Obama (#44) Killed by Andrew Jackson with an AK-47.
Abraham Lincoln, does a rough count of who is left and to his best guess: six remain. He has Old Hickory in his sights but with two bullets left, it wouldn’t make sense to open fire now.
Lincoln tracks back to George W. Bush as he makes his way back to his father. Suddenly, a sharp pain digs into his back.
“The high ground.” Washington said, leaning his sword into Lincoln. “Excellent choice.”
Lincoln winces in response, “It would appear not, General,” If the recognition startled Washington, he did not show it. Lincoln continues, “If it had to be anyone, I’m glad it was you.”
Abraham Lincoln (#16) killed by George Washington with a cavalry sword.
The zone shrinks.
Down in the concrete shed, Bush 41 is nervous. His son should have been back by now, but you can always count on the Bushes for a surprise ending. He peeks out the window just in time to see ...
George W. Bush (#43) killed by Andrew Jackson with a pointed stick.
"You guys are douchetacularistic."
“NOOOOOOO,” Bush 41 screams as he emerges from the shed, gun blazing.
He’s not in the sun for more than a second before the first bullet whistles by his ear. The second does not miss.
George H. W. Bush (#41) shot by George Washington with a sniper rifle.
“General Washington,” Jackson sneers as he squares off against his former President. “Of course it is down to us”
Washington shoulders hunch wearily and he casts aside the empty rifle. His eyes look over his opponent, “Jackson, you have my congratulations.”
“America. We did it.” Jackson is taken aback. Washington continues. “Look how many of us there were. In a few years, we may be back on this island to fight again, our numbers increasing. America continues.”
“God bless it.” Jackson pulls a revolver out of his pocket.
A bush on the side of the road rustles, then stands up.
“I’m sorry, I can’t allow you to shoot General Washington.”
Theodore Roosevelt strides into the middle of the road to face Jackson. With his bush camouflage removed, he is still wearing a backpack with five different guns strapped to it, as well as the handgun pointed forward.
Andrew Jackson (#7) shot by Theodore Roosevelt with a handgun.
"Money Shot, baby."
The game zone shrinks for the final time. It is now 20 meters wide.
Roosevelt pushes himself to his feet and brushes off his pants, inspecting the area.
“Just enough room for 10 paces.” Theodore says, unholstering and offering out one of his pistols to Washington. Washington shakes his head in disapproval. “We’re going to have to finish this one way or another,” Roosevelt continues. “The safety is here, click in and it’s ready to fi ...”
“No,” says Washington. “If I have my choice, I prefer the one on your back.”
The first president of the Union points to the AK-47 peeking out from Teddy’s pack. With a wry smile, Theodore removes the weapon and hands it to his predecessor.
Washington accepts the gun and gets to his feet. They stand back to back in the middle of the play area.
They take one step.
Two steps. Three steps. Four. Five.
Washington rests his finger on the trigger of the rifle and closes his eyes, trusting his soldier’s instincts to guide the bullets to victory.
Six. Seven. Eight. Nine.
On the tenth step, the two warriors whirl to face each other. The chorus of automatic fire erupting from Washington’s rifle is punctuated by a single crack from Roosevelt’s revolver.
“You only needed one,” says Washington, blood staining his shirt red. “I see our nation is in steady hands.”
George Washington (#1) shot by Theodore Roosevelt in a duel
WINNER: Theodore Roosevelt
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