You might have heard of the Madden Curse, where athletes who’ve graced the cover of Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL video game series often get a dose of bad luck soon after their moment in the sun? Well, we’re going to need to come up with a new term to describe what has happened to the beleaguered David Petraeus, who stepped down as CIA director after admitting to having an affair, allegedly with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The scandal has now widened to include a shirtless FBI agent, a Tampa socialite and the current commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and if the Madden Curse (and its corollary, the Sports Illustrated Curse) is anything to go by, Petraeus can blame his appearance in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
The videogame, released Nov. 13, is set in 2025 and features an appearance by the former four-star Army general, who in the game’s fictional world has acceded to the post of Secretary of Defense. What’s more, his boss is a female President who bears a striking resemblance to a certain Secretary of State (for the record, her name in the game is President Bosworth). Even the current POTUS gets namechecked: the first time we see Petraeus during the game, he’s boarding an aircraft carrier called the U.S.S. Barack Obama.
Petraeus won’t be collecting any appearance fees, however; the character in the film is voiced by actor and political impressionist Jim Meskimen, and a representative for the former General takes pains to point out that Petraeus himself was “not involved in making the game.”
In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Petraeus deals with a terrorist prisoner on board the Obama (which is a sentence we never thought we’d ever write); in a later cutscene, he and President Bosworth are shot down over Los Angeles in a futuristic version of Marine One. Fear not: a vital bit of audio suggests that Petraeus, at least, survives the attack. The real-life version is no doubt be hoping he gets through his current travails similarly unscathed.