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Seven Video Game Characters Who Would Make A Great Planetary Protection Officer – Forbes

NASA’s coolest job may see a vacancy soon as the current Planetary Protection Officer’s three-year appointment draws to a close.

To: Robert M. Lightfoot Jr, Acting Director, NASA

300 E Street, Washington D.C.

From: Planetary Protection Officer Recruitment Team

Subject: Finalists for PPO consideration

Dear Mr. Lightfoot,

As you know, the position for Planetary Protection Officer is currently filled by Catharine Conley, who has held this role since 2006.

As her current three-year appointment draws to a close it remains uncertain whether or not Ms. Conley will reapply for the job.

Given the importance of this role—both in protecting the world from potential alien threats and in protecting space from potential terrestrial contaminants—we have already begun scouring the galaxy for potential candidates.

Our months-long search has been narrowed down to seven potential applicants who we believe merit a closer look.

Please examine the following profiles and let us know which candidates we should attempt to bring in for an interview.

As you know, the role of Planetary Protection Officer is crucial to the safety of this very planet, and while the role of NASA director has gone unfilled since January 20th, we cannot let such a lapse occur for the world’s only PPO.

Sincerely,

The Recruitment Team

Here are seven potential candidates for this role:

#7 – Fox McCloud (Star Fox)

Fox McCloud

Fox McCloud is an ace pilot who, in the past, has capably led his squadron of fighters in dogfight after dogfight through harrowing missions against nefarious alien threats. Anyone who witnessed McCloud’s work defending Cornerria from the attacking Andross will know just how difficult that fight was.

Given his experience in space combat and leadership, we believe McCloud would make a top-notch Planetary Defense Officer.

Potential Drawbacks: McCloud is more of a doer than a planner. He’s more comfortable in a cockpit than at a desk, and might shirk some of his more clerical duties. We’re also uncertain he’d take the job seriously, or that other NASA employees would feel comfortable working with an anthropomorphic fox.

#6 – Jack Morrison

Credit: Blizzard

Soldier 76

Also known as Soldier 76, Morrison is already the head of Overwatch, another planetary defense organization. Morrison is already well-versed in protecting the planet from its enemies—though his experience leans toward Omnic threats rather than alien.

A veteran of numerous conflicts, Morrison has displayed both integrity and grit in his role as Overwatch chief and would make an excellent choice for Planetary Protection Officer.

Potential Drawbacks: Morrison’s not a young man anymore. While we should certainly avoid accusations of ageism in filling this position, it might be advisable to pick someone a little livelier for the job. We could also face some blow-back if we attempt to poach top Overwatch employees.

#5 – Jade (Beyond Good & Evil)

Jade from Beyond Good & Evil

Jade’s main skill is figuring stuff out, like nefarious alien plots. Her work against the wicked DomZ has more than prepared her for the role of Planetary Protection Officer. Tenaciously rescuing missing orphans and uncovering a corrupt government plot makes Jade not only one of the most capable candidates on this list, but one of the most likable and humane.

Potential Drawbacks: Jade may be reluctant to even trust the government enough to take a position like this, and it’s possible that her involvement at this level of NASA would ruffle the wrong feathers. We may want to run this past the Cigarette Smoking Man before proceeding given his dealings with FBI agent Fox Mulder. (Never trust a fox!)

#4 – The Commander (XCOM)

This isn’t the Commander, but we actually don’t have a photo of our most elusive candidate.

During our research we couldn’t find out the name or gender of the secretive XCOM commander (T.C.) but he/she is the perfect candidate for Planetary Protection Officer for a number of reasons.

First of all, not only does T.C. have tactical experience fending off alien invasions, he/she also has hands-on experience casting off the yoke of an oppressive alien world government.

Not only that, T.C. has impeccable management experience, juggling not just the moment-to-moment tactical decisions that go into each and every battle, but also determining how to devote resources to research and development, infrastructure and diplomacy.

Potential Drawbacks: While T.C. is a capable manager, he/she doesn’t have nearly as much actual boots-on-the-ground experience, typically directing missions from afar. Also, good leaders are inspiring, and from what we can gather T.C. is actually entirely devoid of personality.

#3 – Master Chief (Halo)

Master Chief

Before he was labeled a traitor and hunted down like a dog for crimes he didn’t commit, Master Chief (aka John-117) was the greatest Space Marine the galaxy has ever known. He still is.

The Spartan-II supersoldier is both biochemically and cynbernetically enhanced, making him a formidable combatant. He’s also unflinchingly loyal and doesn’t mince words, making him an ideal co-worker. He also gets along pretty well with AI, which may help with future-proofing.

In any case, while he hasn’t always been able to save the day, he’s always scored high in the trying department, and he’s left an impressive death toll in his wake, making him a formidable opponent should we be attacked.

Potential Drawbacks: Master Chief is a bit of a lone gun, and may not be the most reliable candidate. He’s a bit ‘mavericky’ and while that’s often a quality in a job like this, it can just as easily be a liability. Think Jack Bauer. Perhaps a good fit given the current administration, but I’m not sure we at NASA should value the same qualities.

#2 – Gordon Freeman (Half-Life)

Gordon Freeman

Freeman is the only candidate on our list with a PhD from MIT in theoretical physics. That alone makes him an incredibly potent choice for Planetary Protection Officer and a great fit for NASA.

His other achievements are just as impressive, if not more so. His experience at Black Mesa, the planet of Xen, and combating the Combine after earth was overthrown all suggest he’s well-versed in the job’s most fundamental responsibilities.

Potential Drawbacks: We have it on good authority that Freeman has received several tempting offers for his services already. Thornier still, Freeman has all but vanished and it seems increasingly unlikely that he’ll ever reappear. Inquiries into his whereabouts have gone unanswered. (Another candidate, Jim Raynor, has similarly disappeared.)

#1 – Commander Shepard (Mass Effect)

Commander Shepard

There may be no other candidate on this list as thoroughly well-qualified to serve as Planetary Protection Officer as Commander Shepard. She not only has years of leadership experience both in combat and aboard space vessels, she’s already well-known among several alien races and commands the respect of all but the most wicked extraterrestrial beings.

Even when she’s acting more like a renegade than a paragon, Shepard is an incredibly capable commander and fiercely loyal to her duties and responsibilities to friends and subordinates. Her experience in the N7 program should also be taken into consideration.

Potential Drawbacks: We can’t be certain of this, but during our research of potential candidates we’ve been led to believe that Shepard’s tenure as PPO may not end well. Call it a hunch.

Recommendations and Conclusion

We’ve ordered this list—based on countless hours of research—from least to most qualified candidates, taking into account everything from leadership qualities to reliability to combat experience. Where one candidate may be uniquely qualified in combat, another may have excellent managerial skills. while a third has a knack for diplomacy and experience dealing with alien entities.

Ultimately, despite some vague misgivings, we urge NASA to appoint Shepard to the role of Planetary Protection Officer. Given that the job is as much about protecting aliens from earth as it is protecting earth from aliens, we believe that Shepard’s experience among other alien lifeforms—including, but not limited to Turians, Salarians and Asari—gives the Commander a leg up over other candidates.

While other candidates, like Mr. Freeman, certainly make for a compelling choice, actually tracking some of these applicants down may prove fruitless and not worth the time, expense, or the dashing of hopes.

We eagerly await your decision.

(Note: Planetary Protection Officer is a real job and it sounds very cool.)

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Seven Video Game Characters Who Would Make A Great Planetary Protection Officer – Forbes

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