Barack Obama: Stop Playing Game Boy

February 24, 2007 -
When presidential candidate Barack Obama told a youthful crowd in Austin, Texas to "stop playing Game Boy" yesterday, did he mean:

a.) they should upgrade to the Nintendo DS

b.) he thinks the PSP is a better handheld choice

c.) it's time to become more politically active

Umm, probably the last choice. As reported by the Associated Press:
Obama's Austin appearance was part of a campaign swing across the country to raise money for his two-week old candidacy and build his reputation nationally...

Obama told the Austin crowd that they should try to recruit their friends to support his campaign. "I want you to tell them, 'It's time for you to turn off the TV and stop playing GameBoy,'" Obama said. "We've got work to do."

It's not the first time Obama has invoked the idea that gaming equals slacking. The Illinois senator has no game legislation track record, but as reported by the Washington Post, he did rather pointedly return a $500 campaign donation from then-ESA boss Doug Lowenstein.

GP: This is probably a good place to mention that we've added a new category, Game Decision 2008, which we will use to track video game-related issues in regards to presidential candidates.


What you're spouting off, loupgarous, is little more than empty rhetoric. I also find it beyond amusing that you're espousing Joe Liebermann, of all people, on a website such as this - which isn't to say that you can't cheer for whoever you want to cheer for, but come on. If you actually had valid arguments that ran deeper than "Democrats are sociopathic anti-patriots", that would be another thing.

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So B.O. doesn't think kids should be playing Game Boy. Looks as though he's hunting free stamplickers and phone jockeys for his run at the White House.

Barack Hussein Obama our next President? Not likely. The Democrats have Congress now, and so they have about a year and a half to show that they have absolutely no ideas on how to solve the problems they made so much noise about before the '06 election. No ideas, no resolve, no patriotism and no brains.

I'd vote Democrat in a heartbeat if they'd had the character and morals to run Lieberman as their Presidential candidate. Instead, they back-stabbed him during his re-election campaign - and Lieberman beat their rich-bitch millionaire replacement candidate like a drum. Lieberman is now representing Connecticut as an Independent. So much for "being in touch with the people."

Barack Obama will lose and lose big if the Democrats run him as their Presidential candidate. So will Hillary Clinton. Neither one is going to have much more than media buzz going for them.

It's going to be an amusing year and a half. Hillary Clinton is already beginning to chafe at the idea that B.O. is stealing her spotlight. She's already permanently pissed off more than half of the electorate - but unlike the way her husband won two elections, any "spoiler" candidate is going to do as Ralph Nader did - hurt the left much, much worse than the right.

Serves them right. The Democrats have served us up nothing but sociopathic losers as alternatives to what the Republicans offer.

And the solution is to stop playing video games? That sounds funny coming from the front-runner of a party that is firmly out of touch with reality and has been for better than a decade.

I second what GamerDad said. The fact that the comment is being blown out of proportion here is understandable, though. As politically active gamers, we're sensitive - perhaps overly so - to any perceived attempt to disparage or unjustly legislate against out favored pastime.

Aside from that, I think the assertion that Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin is ridiculous. Sure, the similarities may outweigh the differences if you're only comparing blue dogs to corporate-sponsored neocons, but there are more than enough politicians on both sides of the spectrum that don't teeter on the borderline. I don't buy for a second that the party of Russ Feingold isn't significantly different from that of an Orrin Hatch. On a related note, I second the several people who said that they'd vote for Obama over Clinton.

Also, for you non-northeasterners out there: It's spelled "Giuliani".

Juliani will diffenalty NOT do his best for the people...

Ok.. so are choices are a morman, a censorcrat, and this guy... I would still vote for him before hillary.. but thats if I had to vote... I thought I might like him too.. looks like I wont be voting this next year.

I think the biggest issue is that the voting youth no longer identifies with their political leaders. The politicians are addressing the concerns that are important to generation x and y. We are bombarded by smoke and mirrors and terror at every turn. Fear no longer sways the youth, the boy in the white house has cried wolf too many times.

If you want the youth vote, address concerns of social security in the upcoming years (Wait that would show a flaw in a huge economic system). Job opportunities, education costs, etc.. these are youth concerns that go largely ignored because they haven't bothered to come up with an answer yet.

The youth just doesn't care because they've been ignored for too long.

My first choice would be juliani for now. Obram before clinton. Then lastly would be robin willams.

Hey, if we use 'their' thought process, Robin is one of the best canidates. After all he was in a movie where he was president, and the president in movies always knows just what to do. (not like real life) Or if we make a child watch enough presidental movies, they would be the most super president. Ever.

If you're looking for the ideal, pro-video game, pro-art/youth culture politician, you sadly will not find him in this lifetime.

Seriously. A political candidate has to play to the greatest common denominator, without completely ostracizing many dozens of niche groups.

Passionate gamers, whether adult or younger, are a fairly small niche group, from a political standpoint. Because, frankly, they are not a vocal and politically relevant demographic. See: Doug Lowenstein's rant on his industry getting pushed around.

While I'd love for Obama to come forth and champion the next enlightened age of high/hyper culture that the internet makes available, as a presidential hopeful, we can't expect this from him.

While its easy to have a chip on your shoulder about a politician's loose language in disparaging gaming, the fact is that, yes, he has a good point: the youth of America, in broad generalization, are not (or don't appear) as politically minded as they were 10 years ago.

Why does this remind me of one of the political conventions from 2004, when during one of their "Lets make educating the children a big priority" and then they turned one of the cameras on one of the kids they'd brought along to show off and he playing a Game Boy? I can't remember which convention it was, but I remember it was shown on the Daily Show when it happened. I should go back through my Indecision 2004 DVDs and go watch that again.


And a party whose base is made up of christian fundamentalists who have always had one of their main goals to censor is better?

I agree that the Democrats arent very good either, theyre socialist lite, but I think when you consider video games and whose more likely to pass censorial legislation and nominate Judges that view the 1st Amend more narrowly, theyre much more preferable.

Sounds like this comment is getting pulled way out of context. I agree with all of those who said this is just Obama saying, "GET POLITICALLY ACTIVE!" to young voters. One only has to look at the turnout of voters 18-25 to see he's right on the money. There are so many people in this age range that are screaming on forums about this political problem and that, but I wonder how many of them actually vote, or send letters to their representatives...

I'd take Obama over Clinton any day.

Wow, you people are worse than the republicans.

He wants people to get up and do something. Are we gamers getting a persecution complex now?

Shame. Shaaaame.

Mmmm its just a turn of phrase.

Vote Napolian today! How could you go wrong? Anyway I vote, I play, now it's back to RE 4. I'm such a slacker.

There's no doubt in my mind Senator Obama would sign any piece of think-of-the-children legislation that crossed his desk if elected President. However, I'll still agree with everyone else here who said he simply meant people should get politically active and stuff. That's probably a good idea too. So let's all put down our proverbial Gameboys, get Ron Paul the Republican nomination, and steal the party from the neocon goons. ;)

Children are too stupid to be involved with politics, especially those who would support democrats.

Excuse me!!???????? I can not believe you just said that it sounds like something Jack thompson or Ann coulter would say (can someone check to make sure this isn't either of them). For starters you should not be grouping every 'child' as too stupid to be in politics (only adults can vote), we all think act and believe differently just like everyone else. Sterotyping child is exactly like stereotyping gamers or anything else. You should also look at adults, there are those who blindly follow their party no matter who runs there are those who take in whatever the media tells them and of course there are the assorted soccer moms who will jump on the demonizing bandwagon to censor anything (including games). I may also point to the stupidity of politicians which has been pointed out time and time again on this very site. Also how the heck is voting democrat stupider than voting republican. What is wrong with not liking our current administration that got us into iraq, a federal deficiet and one that continues to muck things up. Why don't you just go crawl back to the rock you've been living under and don't come out till you actually have something decent to say.


But what about those of us (mostly on this forum) that do send letters and whatnot? I don't know about you but the answer to even hand written letters is a form that says "I will consider your opinion on the issue but vote however I damn well feel will win me the votes of soccor moms, nascar dads, or whatever demographic is en vogue" in 4 paragraphs.


sorry about being upset at ya.

I just get upset when people talk to me like that. I didn't write the article, and I do get a bit passionate about politics. I am also a gamer, and eventually I was led to this site along time ago, and here I still am.

hell, i even wrote an article about it in a newspaper a few days ago..


its cool dude. I mean no ill will toward you or Dennis. I have been a long tim reader almost since he started the site.

I never called Dennis biased or said he was. All i said was that the way he presented the story made me think about about the response from a lot of people. I just don't think the story was fairly balanced becasue of the the second half of the paragraph that MIGHT even suggest that it could be part some anti-game bias on Obama's part. Everyone sees things a bit diffrent, no?

Anyway, I was just offering a little counterpoint of own, saying that when Obama says something, somewhat pleasant about video games (his kid play them), and makes a joke about them, nobody notices.

I am a little more upset about some comments made, and my upsetness is torwards people who can easily be swayed by a simple comment. It's like that 'wasted" comment Obama made on the Iraq troops. Sure the many knew the true context, but that didnt stop so many from taking it the wrong way, and the conservative pundits from running it into the ground.


I have been a long time reader and I base what I say on what on the experience.

I never said you were biased, not onced. I just said I wonder. I was just being a bit critical and even a little bit paranoid of the article, espeically with the second half mentioning he turned down an ESA donation (which can be for many reasons other than being a player hater). that whole paragraph just seems editorialized to me, and it seems like something the Obama haters can eat up and use to campaign against him. And I would have mentioned the Game Decision 2008 piece in an article of its own. Sorry, but like Obama's comment, people can take things out of context.

I apoligize for the "bias" comment.

I'll take Obama over Clinton without even thinking about it. Obama is still, IMHO, first amendment friendly, while Clinton has made moves that demonstrate hostility and a complete disregard for gamers' rights along with Bayh and that other guy...

I'm all for candidates who take pot shots at people still playing with Nintendo's legacy product from 1989, heh.

@ -Arion

Just looked to me like you weren't all that 'chilly' when you wrote your second post, which in my humble opinion made you look like you to wanted to brand Dennis with a huge "bias" iron.

Personally, I see little bias in GP's post. All Dennis has achieved is to bring Obama's message - which basically revolves around 'people getting out there' - forth, which I do not find "negative" in the slightest sense.

In fact, I deem it to be supportive of gaming as a whole because it denotes game-playing as a typical 'use of free time', as opposed to it being mindless, mastubatory killer-training as Jack Thompson would've claimed..

I even found it to be a bit humorful with the a-b-c choices.
And exactly what lies are you referring to? Obama made a valid statement: Get off your (our) ass(es) and do something.

Anyway, we're beating around the bush here. We both agree that Obama's comment was in no way derogatory, and we're both even supportive of the guy in saying what he did. We both agree that there are slackers in every culture-corner, including gamers. We just have differing views on Dennis' method of bringing that slice of info along.

And I do apologize for offending you. You just appeared strongly agitated by Dennis' "bias" to me at first, but looking over again, i believe the line about flaming was a bit too harsh from my part.

@Arion... hey, I kind of like Obama. Not sure if he's my candidate yet, so there's no bias one way or the other. At this site, however, we chronicle the intersection of politics and video games.

So if a presidential candidate mentions games in some context, we report it. I personally don't thing Obama has any evil intention in these comments, although I do think they display a subtle bias on his part that games = slacking. That being said, I was probably a little rough on him in that 2006 editorial I linked.

Children are too stupid to be involved with politics, especially those who would support democrats.

Obama would be a terrible president, he knows or says little about actually politics and he focuses only on being "down with the common man".

So Mr. Obama wants the Austin crowd to "ry to recruit their friends to support his campaign" ? This is why he wanted the crowd to "tell them, ‘It’s time for you to turn off the TV and stop playing GameBoy’” ?

Well, why not, but Mr. Obama is way too shy. I'd add this : it's also time to stop reading books, playing football (or baseball, or basketball), surfing on the Net, studying...

why do we even care about what tiny remark about video games, positive or negitive, every poltitican says.



......HEEEE'S RIGHT!!!

Why I turn off all my games before I go to work. :D

I turn off my "gameboy" I've got work to do....and the people who make our work to do...

..On a serious side I really don't like that message....and I'm sure he means by work is being politcally active or something....I dunno.


I am quite chilled thank you.. and I have a very good point about certain people focusing in on the negative... that's how lies and rumors are spread.

who said i was flaming anyone? I gazed through a lot of comments and noticed some people jumping to conclusions. Is it wrong to be upset and passionate?

And if I flamed anyone, WHO?

I agree with Terminator44 and GamerDad, but I never said or inferred "games cause people to become possessed by evil"

i think you confused me with someone else.

Gah, +1 again..

This one goes to TheFremen:

Actually, I do believe that he wants 'us' to not only vote, but to send letters, demand results and generally give out a message of "what people want!"

Of course, that's probably a high-hoped reach into nothingness, but I'd rather be positive and listen once than dismiss it at first base.

Quite frankly, I agree with Obama when he first told students to "stop slacking", because that IS what half of all gamers DO. We play games, because it's entertaining, because it's FUN. People spend their time playing computer-games, reading (comic)books, going to the movie-theater, WHATEVER that is fun, instead of doing extra research on our school projects or double-checking all that homework...

Work demands time and effort - having fun doesn't mix too well with that, and quite often young people tend to focus on the latter. (I should know - I AM one of them)

On the same time, he has keep that "activism" speech in check, or he might actually end up trying to do "The Wave" all over again. ;)


on a side note

I don't like to be flamed btw

Hillary wants to legislate games, and he says this. Let's how he's more accepting then she is.


Arion, may I suggest a Chill Pill?

Preferably now before your blood-sugar becomes too high and you start spouting flames that get people banned..

Regardless, I agree with what Terminator44 and GamerDad said...
Obama is just telling people to get Politically Active. How is that a bad thing, gaming-wise or not?

In fact, as GamerDad pointed out, he referred to gaming as the electronic entertainment that it is. He didn't single it out or claim games cause people to become possessed by evil.

His message, in short: "Stop entertaining yourselves and DO something!"

Oh, and as a side note, I believe that we (most of us GP readers anyway) aren't really the ones he's targetting with his message, as we're basically here trying to figure out where and when to do what. ;)


i said i only wondered if there was bias

because i saw the response coming A MILE AWAY. People jumping to conclusions, same on other sites mentioning this.

Reminding people that Obama that he turned down an ESA donation and said this before leads people to the wrong conclusion.

classic example... Jack the first mention of the Obama's statement on video games. I recalled he immeditaly cheered and said he was a supporter for Obama (figuring he could pick up where Hillary Clinton left off i guess, either that or as a known conservative, he hopes to drive support away by supporting

and that's sad

It was just sort of a joke, people are taking it way too seriously.

I think Obama would probably be good on 1st Amend issues and I tthink he would nominate the kind of judges to the federal courts and the supreme court that would protect video games from censorship.

Im not a supporter, but thats just the impression I get. He's not a moralizer type, like all the republicans are and like Hillary would be.

People are apathetic because the two major parties have little differences between them, and both of them are filled to the bursting point with career politicians that are more interested in their continued employment than getting stuff done. The minor political parties don't seem to be able to put in a good showing on even the state or local level.

Until the political landscape starts changing noticeably, I'll just content myself with getting up with the moon still shining in my window to go vote before work on election day. If I get more involved than that, it'll be at the local and state level where things effect me more directly, and I've got better odds of having an effect.

I don't see what's biased about it. If anything, the comments are what are giving it a seemingly biased edge. The article itself pretty much to-the-point, and half of it is just a quote from the Associated Press. No opinions are pushed on it or anything.

@ Rusty Shackleford

because Dennis runs this site, and I wish he would highlight that other "game boy" clip instead of all this "negative" one, because i start to wonder if this story is bias driven and meant to portray Obama as an anti-gamer. It's probably my imagination, but still...i thought i should bring it up. It would be fair to Obama if this tidbit was posted to give people a fairer aspect of Obama's "gaming view"

and you can bet, that if the "gamer vote" is an actual driving force for this years election, FOX cable news would bring this up too

this little story is up on a bunch of websites, and there are ton of people taking this out of context, yet nobody gives a care when Obama says something nice and makes a pleasant joke about "game boys". And by that i mean acknowledging its a part of life.

I dunno the Mexicans are cought in the cross fire of the middle class and the corporations,the "free border" is not helping things and we need a better immigration system than letting millions of people become citizens every 10 years so the corporations have better slave wagers,with that said it is below Global warming and Iran building nukes/North Korea building ICBMs,but then corporations are able to sell anything to any one they wont care if terrorists run the world...

The 2 party system is broken and no matter who you chose its more of the same if you are not crooked you cant make money anymore.....

well is the best dem running so far,which is sad....

I agree with Thefremen on this. I'm sick of the two party system in the U.S. Both the Censorcrats and the Republicensors suck. If you believe in Free Speech, Civil liberties and getting the government the hell out of our personal lives then vote Libertarian. When it comes to the other parties one wants to jam their moralistic beliefs down our throats and the other wants a nanny-state under the guise of protecting us from ourselves.

Plenty of reasons not to vote for or even -like- Obama besides this one.

Er, if we turn off our TVs how will we see all the political ads that he's raising loads of money to buy?

While I agree that he's not saying anything too offensive there, I do wonder how belittling things that us young'un like is supposed to motivate us to help out his campaign.

Hey! How bout I be politically active AND play GameBoy? How do you like that?!

But yeah, more young people eligible to vote should get out there and do it

I answer him with: Why should we? Because the two parties give us a choice between censorship in the name of children or forced labor camps in the name of fighting terrorism? Because either way we vote our basic rights will be stripped away in the name of easy solutions that sell to the ignorant masses while REAL problems like Global warming and Iran building nukes/North Korea building ICBMs continue to worsen?

Like I said, I'm a member of the Apathetic Voter's Party and will be until someone comes along with a plan of action that doesn't involve sticking it to the gays/mexicans/evil video game makers/george bush.

Obama has just stated that he will be exactly the same as every other politician ever to hold office, he has grossly oversimplified a problem so that it will seem small and easily overcome by the stupid masses. Can't wait until he takes office and says the problem with the economy is porn on the internet.

@ Arion

Why did you single out Dennis?

@William Douglas're kidding, right?

Yeah, I'm not really seeing this as a bashing of video games, as much as a call to arms for young, voting-age adults to get off their butts and get politically active. I mean, unless you LIKE socially and culturally out-of-touch older people deciding who your political representatives are...

I would still support Obama instead of Hillary. I don't believe he was doing this as a bash on games, but rather a 'call to arms' of sort, telling young people to get out and vote, like GamerDad said.

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DocMelonhead - 10:56pm
DocMelonheadAlso you keep on replying as if you wanted to prove that Total Biscuit have no input because he harass Sarkeesain through defamation. Also take a look at this:08/03/2015 - 10:55pm
IronPatriotDocMelon, are you saying that Andrew Eisen is NOT an ethical journalist?08/03/2015 - 10:53pm
IronPatriotSo if Gamergate was actually about ethics, gamergaters would condemn TotalBiscuit. Right?08/03/2015 - 10:52pm
DocMelonheadI didn't said he was ethical you harassing fool. Why the hell are you attacking Total Biscuit anyways? He's a commentator for christ sake.08/03/2015 - 10:52pm
IronPatriotBecause if TB's informational videos are full of lies, then TB is guilty of bad ethics in game journalism. Right?08/03/2015 - 10:52pm
IronPatriotSo now that you know you cannot defend TotalLYINGbiscuit as merely only "parroting" pro-gamergate lies against gamergate victims like Sarkeesian, please explain how TB is ethical.08/03/2015 - 10:51pm
DocMelonheadWell good for you for pointing that out that Total Biscuit lies about everything.08/03/2015 - 10:50pm
IronPatriotDocmelon admits "DocMelonhead: Iron Patriot, I have no proof, I got no evidence" for his false claim defending TotalLYINGbiscuit. Thank you for finally being honest.08/03/2015 - 10:49pm
DocMelonheadFace it, going through your collection of articles to prove that gamergate is a cover for harassment ain't going to cut it to those who believe said movement can be salvage.08/03/2015 - 10:48pm
DocMelonheadOr all you wanted to see is counter proof that GamerGate is a Bigot campaign against Social Justice Studies in Video games? Either way, It's no wonder you got banned back then.08/03/2015 - 10:43pm
DocMelonheadI said that as a belief because the lie that Anita Sarkeesian is a Hack is very common among the skeptics. Also why the well do you dehumanize Total Biscuit anyways? Do you have a grudge against gamergate?08/03/2015 - 10:42pm
DocMelonheadIron Patriot, I have no proof, I got no evidence, hell the main reason I said that is because I hate your aggressiveness. All I said is that I believe that Total Biscuit regurgitate the same belief that Anita Sarkeesisan's a fraud08/03/2015 - 10:37pm
IronPatriotbenohawk, why do you believe TotalLyingBiscuit when he says he cares about ethics? If he cared about ethics, why did he LIE so much about Gamergate victims like Sarkeesian? How is his lying ETHICAL?08/03/2015 - 10:22pm
IronPatriotDocMelon, prove your claim that TotalLyingBiscuit did not make up the anti-Sarkeesian lies he told to proven harassers in Gamergate. Prove it.08/03/2015 - 10:19pm
DocMelonheadOnce you watch this in full, then you realize why Gamergate is a thing.08/03/2015 - 10:10pm
DocMelonheadSo once again, I invite you to watch this video to see what I mean: - 10:09pm
benohawkThe simplest way is to look at what he's said in total, as mentioned before, he's come out against harassment, and that his past behavior suggests that he's very much in it for Ethics and not to try and drive women out of the industry08/03/2015 - 10:03pm
DocMelonheadBecause that is the exact same nutpicking that made GamerGate infamous in the first place.08/03/2015 - 10:02pm
DocMelonheadAnd even if they didn't spread misinformation on Feminist, there's someone out there that does. So with that in mind, it's best to educate people on feminism and critical thinking instead on relying on blog posts and storify on such things.08/03/2015 - 10:01pm

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