Obama Campaign Theme: Video Games as Metaphor for Underachievement

Unlike rival Hillary Clinton,  Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama does not have a significant track record with regard to video game content issues.

His speeches, however, often contain a reference to parents making their children “put away the video games.” For Obama, video games seem to serve as a sort of metaphor for underachievement.

The Illinois senator repeated the theme last night in a victory speech following his big win over Clinton in the Wisconsin primary. As reported by the Washington Post, which carried a transcript and video of the speech, Obama said:

I know how hard it will be to alleviate poverty that has built up over centuries, how hard it will be to fix schools, because changing our schools will require not just money, but a change in attitudes.

We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.

A day earlier, speaking to a college crowd in Youngstown, Ohio,  Obama made similar remarks. The Youngstown Vindicator reports:

[Obama called for] investments in early childhood education to close the achievement gap, but with an added emphasis on poetry, music and art, not just academics. Obama admonished parents to do their part by turning off the television, putting away the video games, and instilling in their children a desire to get a good education.

Nor is this a new theme for Obama. GamePolitics reported on similar comments as far back as April, 2006.

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  1. 0
    oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. 0
    whyzguy says:

    Assuming your judgement of character is good enough to make an educated vote in this election, you should seriously reconsider your stance on the subject.  Obama isn’t going to take games away from you, he’s simply saying that your parents should be able to if they want.  To punish or discipline you for being a snotty brat, maybe?  Good grades in school means exactly jack-off nothing.  If you want people to take YOU seriously, maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge, and actually read an article before you post something off of someone else’s reply on a forum page.  Or maybe you went to a public school, and learned exactly as much as our aging governmental educational system wants you to know (which is very, very, very little)

    An educated population is dangerous to a regime of terrorists that wants to sell you into slavery.

    I make games for education… whyzguy3000@hotmail.com

  3. 0
    whyzguy says:

    You have no idea what you’re talking about.  Politicians are bad for America.  People need to outgrow their need to be regulated by others.  You obviously still need that regulation or you’d go shoot someone for stepping on your lawn.  Republicans want to sell you into slavery to the Chinese…

    I make games for education… whyzguy3000@hotmail.com

  4. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Despite thinking that video games promote laziness, which in some cases it does and it should not take over the majority of the day, be it kids or adults, I do not think Obama is going to take the energy pass any further laws against video games or at least against violent ones.  And the majority of laws that have been passed to further prevent selling of video games to minors can’t really go any further without blatenly breaking the first amendment.  So in that sense, I don’t take what hes saying as offensive.  If he starts saying time to ban video games or something like that, then that’ll be a red flag.

  5. 0

    […] Op GamePolitics las ik een interessante posting over Obama die zich mengt in de discussie over videogames. Normaal gezien lijken politici zich er altijd erg gemakkelijk vanaf te maken en maar wat te roepen. De meest geziene reflex is dat videogames slecht zijn en verboden moeten worden. Nu lijkt het erop dat Obama wat genuanceerder tegen deze zaken aankijkt en een beroep doet op de verantwoordelijkheid van ouders in het geheel. […]

  6. 0
    dnL says:

    I think everyone needs to understand that Obama is not anti-gaming, he is pro-better-parenting.

    If you read the quote more appropriately he is saying: “We’re going to have to PARENT BETTER, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”

    Unlike Hilary Clinton who wants to censor and abolish video games.

  7. 0
    Corey Sutchagay says:

    i like games a lot so plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz dont campaign about it

  8. 0
    KFL says:

    Well, I think, too, this needs to be considered in the context of parenting. I do not see this as “video games are bad/tv is bad” — these things are bad when they become substitutes for parenting, which happens all too often. Don’t want to spend quality time with your child? Buy him/her a video game to occupy the time…varying and quality parent-child interaction is important. I tend to see this as the central theme (parenting) rather than the focus being video games in and of themselves.

  9. 0
    AdioBam says:

    Simply because he does not say he wants to censor video games does not mean that he won’t do it if he gets in office. You have to realize that this man is a politician.
    I’ll admit his stance on video games is better than Clinton’s, at least at the moment, but all this is is another politician telling parents how to raise their kids using broken-record logic.

    I’m voting republican this year (our majority democratic congress has managed to screw things up worse than our president), so maybe I’m just being naturally biased, but that’s overall how I feel.
    But I’d take Obama over Clinton any day of the week. Unless I’m drunk.

  10. 0
    Retarded says:



    This is retarded.

    He’s criticizing PARENTS, not video games. He’s just mentioning video games ALONGSIDE TVs.

    Talk about blowing things out of proportion.





  11. 0
    randomrant says:

    another case of blaming the thing itself for the negative effects it is causing

    “oh i didnt getta job as i was trying to finish Metal Gear Solid 4”
    “oh, the console/game made me to not do it!” or,
    “tv/console made me miss my interview/class!”

    nah its all about being RESPONSIBLE for yer own actions & decisions or yer hobby for that matter

    i mean, you could list down every negative effects that any particular thing would have on you, but in the end, it will still depend on yer own decision if you would LET that happen

    so unless game consoles come with the effects of heroine or crack, then the only thing to blame here is the person and/or his own sense of responsibility, not the thing or the hobby itself

  12. 0
    Charles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I love video games, but I don’t know if it’s such a bad idea to keep kids away from them. When I was young, way before video games, I knew a family that did not own a TV. We owned TV, I watched tons of TV, and read books, and went to school, and not a lot else. These kids did everything, sports, music, great grades, active lives, and even at the time I thought that, while I would hate to live without television, that part of the reason these kids were doing so many cool things was because TV wasn’t sucking up so much of their time.

    I’ve got to think video games are a similar drain on time that could be spent more productively. But of course, parents who turn off the TV and video games have to offer kids alternatives; saying turn off that TV and do your homework isn’t going to do anything, saying turn off that TV and play some tennis before you salsa class, on the other hand, might actually make for well-rounded kids.

    TV and video games aren’t devoid of merit by any means, and I love them both to death. But then, I wound up sitting on my couch in my underwear reviewing video games for a living; perhaps if TV hadn’t accustomed me to endless sitting and staring I would be climbing the himalayas right now instead of posting this comment. Video games aren’t a waste of time, but that doesn’t mean they are the best possible use of time either.

  13. 0
    TrevWolf says:

    It is a form of underachievement – just like films are. That’s the reason they’re games: an enjoyable activity you can use to fill in space when you’re not working.

    Reaching lvl 70 and getting epic armour in WoW might feel like you’ve done something, but it hasn’t improved your social/economic situation. Though the monies you expend continues to hold up the game market, and that’s always a good thing.

  14. 0
    AB says:

    can you guys imagine a former videogame developer runing for president?? how F&*^ %^ would that be… a score in the gaming community..

    oh by the way i m still voting for obama, he’s more understanding and reasonable than the other candidates….

  15. 0
    Akin says:

    Someone said Obama didn’t have a voting record:
    He had plenty of time in the Illinois Senate, and he apparently had a reputation for being a liberal Senator who was more than willing to pick up ideas from the other side, and introduce legislation that people on either side were unwilling to. For example, he introduced a bill that made it so all interrogations for crimes with capital punishment be recorded on video. The bill was thought to be incredibly controversial, but once everyone realized it was a good idea, it ended up passing unanimously.

  16. 0
    JustChris says:

    If Obama said something like “Put away the Nintendo”, does that make him an anti-Nintendo fanboy? Nope, it is usually a household example term for video games in general. As such, saying video games is just being used as an example in a different context.

  17. 0
    Todd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I agree with GamerDad, and I stand by my earlier statement that this is a pessimistic misinterpretation of Obama’s words.

    If kids ignored homework and other responsibilities because they spend all day every day reading novels, then I’m sure he would have called that out as well. Doesn’t mean he thinks reading is underachieving and needs to be legislated.

  18. 0
    GamerDad says:

    Wow. I think you’re way off base here Dennis.
    He’s calling video games a hobby. Placing them in proper perspective.

    Are you prepared to argue that NOT limiting video games and television is good parenting!??!

  19. 0

    […] February 21, 2008 by glennw Okay . . . I know that other issues may seem more important. You know, the trillions being spent in Iraq, the economy here in the US, rising health care costs and steroids in baseball. But according to GamePolitics.com, what we really should be concerned with is Barack Obama’s view of video games. “His speeches, however, often contain a reference to parents making their children ‘put away the video games.’ For Obama, video games seem to serve as a sort of metaphor for underachievement. The Illinois senator repeated the theme last night in a victory speech following his big win over Clinton in the Wisconsin primary.” […]

  20. 0
    perlox says:

    I think people might be taking his wording too literal. I don’t think he’s really saying that video games and TV should be eliminated from childhood, but that there should be parental control over how long they use that media. I think it’s just because we’re all so touchy about politicians mentioning gaming because they always seem to be bashing it. Just a thought.

  21. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    “NIU Shooting Lets Thompson Saber Rattle”

    “Fortunately, the rest of the world has scoffed at Thompson this time around and places like GamePolitics.com are forced to find imaginary enemies again by reading too much into Barack Obama’s statements promoting change and responsibility “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.” It’s more important to counter-point the violence argument than it is to attack someone who indirectly and inadvertently intimated that gamers are lazy. “


    NW2K Software

  22. 0

    […] I’m not sure if anyone is aware that I’ve been leaning towards giving Barack Obama my vote come this November, primarily on his stance towards the war and also based on his seemingly genuine desier to change the political tone in this country. Granted, this could just be the marketing talking, but I’d like to believe that someone has the ability to actually stand for something in the highest office in the country. That being said, he’s recently been saying some disparaging comments towards those of us who enjoy that newfangled device caled the “videogame”. Gamepolitics has an excellent article explaining how Obama has been using playing videogames as a metaphor for underachievement. Frankly I’m somewhat tired of people who ‘just don’t get it” (the minority of people in the country at the moment..) being seemingly concentrated in positions of power. Perhaps it’s an age thing, and this will become moot in fifteen to twenty years when our generation holds a majority of the seats in our government, but since we live in the “now”, I felt it was time to exercise a little citizenship participation. I went to Obamas website and posted a comment, in the inexplicably difficult to find feedback section.  […]

  23. 0
    Soroki says:

    I’ve noticed several people stating that the game rating system should provide more information to parents about the games. The rating system DOES provide a perfect amount of information. If parents are too stupid to turn the game box over and READ, why is it the ESRB’s fault? Coupled with the fact that if a game is rated ‘M’, the children CANNOT BUY THEM! Parents, not the rating systen or the game companies, are to blame. READ THE BOX!

    Obama in my opinion talks too much. All politicians just blabber without really saying anything. I believe that if your child is spending too much time playing games, yes, some regulation should be in place by the parent. But to say games should just be put away because they are a basis for underachievement is ignorant. Parents need to step up, but don’t place blame purely on games. Kids spend time outside, watching TV, going with their friend’s to movies, playing sports, etc. yet Obama breathes not a word against the other distracting activities.

  24. 0

    I think this is sensationalizing a non-story. Barack has yet to attack video games, he’s just urging parents to get rid of the distractions and do some actual parenting by spending time with your children. A lot of parents in our country just plop the kid in front of the tube and go about their day.

  25. 0
    Kyle says:

    Ya…wow, the fact that he correlates games and failure together is the dumbest thing I know. I’m a senior in high school and I love my video games. I get good grades and go to honors and advanced placement classes. I also love my sports and weightlifting is huge in my life. But if there was one thing I couldn’t live without it would be my video games. Does that mean I’m a failure Obama? You just lost my vote.

  26. 0

    […] Obama Campaign Theme: Video Games as Metaphor for Underachievement February 20th, 2008 Raymond wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptUnlike rival Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama does not have a significant track record with regard to video game content issues. His speeches, however, often contain a reference to parents making their … […]

  27. 0
    Sugreev says:

    He’s not saying video games or TV is bad,instead he’s just saying that too much of it is bad.Anything in excess is harmful,so I do agree with him.Hillary,on the other hand is a stupid technophobe who’s probably too stupid to turn on an electric blanket…so her views on video games is more or less because she just doesn’t understand technology because of her 1950’s mindset.

  28. 0
    arcade says:

    I also don’t have a problem with this. There ARE kids who need to turn off the tv and video games. Those are the people Obama is talking about here. I would be absolutely shocked if Obama didn’t share the same rational opinion that I do: Video Games are a (lovely) form of entertainment, but are (in many cases) mindless entertainment and so should be had in moderation- especially by children. I don’t think Obama has a problem with adults indulging in their legal right to enjoy themselves. He isn’t attacking video games like Hilary does, he is attacking laziness, which *can* manifest itself as constant gaming.

  29. 0
    Jezebeau says:

    Video games are not a metaphor for underachievement. They are underachievement. Brainy young people used to go out and learn how to do things. Now we learn hand-eye coordination to an impressive, but still nearly meaningless, level.

  30. 0
    Anthony says:

    I, too, have no problem with this.

    I personally regret wasting a lot of my school life playing video games and wish I had gotten out more like I do now. I find it hard to play single player games alone, these days.

    And again, he’s telling parents to start parenting their kids and not ignore their children and let video games do the parenting. He’s saying that it’s time parents started watching their kids instead of blaming games.

  31. 0
    Dance Drier says:

    tl:dr (oh, you guys know what I mean)

    Put into the even wider context of his speech and what he could actually do wiht policy, he’s mostly talking about getting our kids more inspired and more into creative subjects like art and music. These are noble endeavors often affected negatively by gov’t policy. He has the right path in mind and come November I’m trusting him to walk it well.

  32. 0
    olanmills ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This article is irresponsible, and I look to GamePolitics to be a serious site. So I’m pretty dissappointed. This article is irresponsible because it doesn’t just show what Obama said, it warps it with the title that sensationalizes Obama’s statement.

    I’m not an Obama supporter in the slightest, but I think GamePolitics is blowing that statement out of proportion.
    I agree with everything said in that Obama quote above. I think many American kids need more discipline in their lives and part of that is less TV watching and gaming. He didn’t equate playing video games with failure. I think he’s saying parents have to teach, encourage, and enforce discipline and balance in their habits and behavior. Don’t let your kids do whatever they want because it’s easy.

  33. 0
    Syd says:

    You can agree or not, but it’s a misreading of his statement to think that he’s saying videogames are a problem. They’re only a problem because kids aren’t getting an education. He mentions them as something like TV, because they’re POPULAR. It’s not even that kids spend too much time with them…it’s just that kids are spending all of their time being entertained, and not enough of their time being educated. It doesn’t take a genius to understand this. What kind of site is this, and are the stories always this…off.

  34. 0
    Ryan says:

    Well, I would have to agree partially. Video games breed apathy. He is not saying they are evil or bad. He is simply saying that parents need to step up and not let their kids play games on end, they will simply turn into vegetables and not do anything productive. One thing I LIKE, is the fact that he is putting the blame on the parents, not on the makers, or the players. If you think that you are NOT apathetic from playing to many video games you are lieing to your self. Instead of marathoning on 12 hours of video games on your day off, you could be doing positive things. Dont get me wrong, I’m a hardcore gamer, but what he says has a point, as long as it is more moderate as that crazy loon Hillary

  35. 0
    Tim Brown says:

    I was at one of those speeches, and he was simply talking about the role of the parent in a child’s development. He wasn’t demonizing video games, simply remarking that many parents use them as a crutch. I agree with those statements made.

  36. 0
    Steve G. says:

    Have to agree with Obama, actually. I’ve seen too many parents let their children play video games for a great amount of time, flying in the face of studying time. I’ve been a gamer since I was 4, am 19 year-old college student now, and have played games with respect to my academics; this was because my parents set parameters for my game-time, of which I plan to do the same when I have children. Notice also that Obama used Television as well; he’s not singling out video games, but more so forms of entertainment that children far too often let themselves get absorbed in. I have seen relatives get absorbed in such activities, putting their academic careers at an extreme distance to their leisure time; Obama pretty much hit the nail on the head, for me.

  37. 0

    […] In a recent article, GamePolitics reports on what they believe to be a recurring theme in senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. According to the blog, he uses video games as a “metaphor for underachievement.” As reported by the Washington Post, Obama said: I know how hard it will be to alleviate poverty that has built up over centuries, how hard it will be to fix schools, because changing our schools will require not just money, but a change in attitudes. […]

  38. 0
    Shih Tzu says:

    It’s a generic throwaway line. I know it’s the duty of the webmaster to comb the newswires for any intersection between games and larger current events as a whole, but… I’m not sure this counts as a campaign theme.

  39. 0
    Steve says:

    I’m a member of the ECA, so naturally I’m up to fight against Anti-game statements. However, I do not find this offensive. He didn’t say that games were causing us to become mindless killing machines, he just put them on the same level as television. And I’m ok with that. He’s referring to the “comic book guy from the simpsons” kind of gamer. All that said, I do not in anyway support Obama. I disagree with him on almost all of the issues. I’m just pointing out that the statement is not a threat.

  40. 0
    Hm says:

    Are people seriously threatened by this?

    I mean, I’m all up for defending video games and all that, but, man

    The people who get all up-in-arms whenever it’s implied that time playing video games might not be the most productive thing someone can do…*sigh* What the hell, people.

  41. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Actually we need to instill a sense of mediocrity in our children. Telling them every day that they can be the best, that they can do anything, that puts a lot of pressure on them to excel where they don’t have to in order to lead a fulfilling life. SOMEONE has to be the clerk at the DMV, the school janitor, the road construction crew, ect.”


    Western society in general is putting far to much pressure on young people to get lots of academic qualifications, unless they are talented in sports, music or other “high profile” career possibilities. I remember, while I was growing up in the UK, I was pretty much thrown aside by my school because they did not think I would achieve academic excellence and I was no good at sports. Jobs such as fishing, mining, farming, construction, low level labour and admin work, are all considered “entry level” or “failure” jobs.

    Sadly, in recent years, I have found two troubling situations resulting from this. Firstly, farmers and other low end employeers who either cannot get people to work for them for a wage they can afford to pay are employees illegal immigrants who tend to work harder and often take alot more pride in their work. Secondly, a fair number of chain stores and other “entry level” positions are only available to young people, and a college education has become a standard.. if you do not have one, or you are older than about 20, it is next to impossible to get a basic job.

  42. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Just liek last time he’s basically saying that people should stop being so lazy and get politically active.

    Now if you can be politically active and still play video games, I highly doubt he’ll mind.

  43. 0
    Draq ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually we need to instill a sense of mediocrity in our children. Telling them every day that they can be the best, that they can do anything, that puts a lot of pressure on them to excel where they don’t have to in order to lead a fulfilling life. SOMEONE has to be the clerk at the DMV, the school janitor, the road construction crew, ect.

    That said, kids these days do spend way too much time indoors, but it’s not just video gaming. The internet itself is a pretty serious culprit.

  44. 0
    Reede ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I mostly agree with what he says. TV, if its your thing go for it, whatever. Same goes for video games. If moderation is involved your good to go, nothing else will reflect better on your grades than that.

  45. 0
    DarrelBT says:

    In this tread, misintepretation.

    Some of you guys (not all) need to read the article again and realise he’s not calling out to “ban the vidya”. Honestly, it has come to a point where some of you start making knee jerk reactions over anything slightly negative, video game related.

  46. 0
    cusman says:

    Obama is a wise dude that is merely suggesting that don’t let the TV or Video Games do your parenting. Get involved… encourage your kids to learn and engage in other things.

    TV and Video Games are forms of entertainment and come at the cost of a real loss of time that could be spent achieving a better preparation and level of happiness in life.

    He isn’t saying don’t watch TV or don’t play games at all. He is also not specifically singling out video games as stuff that supposedly makes youth get violent and start gangs and rape children once they become priests … you know all the things TV media dont talk about when they are talking about how video games make people violent and about the latest pet-clothing craze.

    This is because he isn’t on the bank-roll of a special interest group for movies/tv etc concerned by the ever growing popularity of the interactive-entertainment medium of video games at the cost of a diminishing popularity of movies/tv etc.

  47. 0
    Aaryk says:

    It’s funny that when a politician states that kids should put down the video games and get outside it becomes an internet drama-fest, but when Shigeru Miyamoto says he feels kids play too many games and should get other hobbies and should get outside, he’s a visionary. (He said in an interview regarding where he gets ideas for Zelda, Pokemon and Pikmin that he used to explore the forests behind his house as a kid and play/pretend adventuring and exploring –Zelda — and check-out the bugs and small animals — Pokemon and Pikmin.

    I’m not saying I’ll vote for Barack Obama or not, but I am saying this won’t sway my opinion for the negative at all.

    It seems to me that gamers, because we’ve been picked-on so much recently, have developed a bit of a oversensitivity complex.

  48. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You and those people who are making the same comments disgust me. This website is called GAMEPOLITICS. What does that mean? It means that they will report on goddamn near anything pertaining to video games. One such thing is what a front-runner presidential candidate thinks about video games. Obama said that in order to “instill a sense of excellence in our children” we must must turn off the TV and put video games away. Fair enough. This implies that video games and television have a detrimental effect on the education. That argument can be made. Fair enough. Therefore, I have little qualm with GP about making this claim. His speech implies that, without video games, kids would do better in school so it’s a very reasonable conclusion to make that Obama has used video games as a metaphor for underachievement, and possibly that he does not like them.

    So, you call GP both unreasonable, illiterate, and untrustworthy because they drew a conclusion about something that Obama said. Not only that, you claim that they have a political agenda. Who the hell does GP support? I think something negative about EVERY major candidate has been said on this site. This is the first time I’ve seen such outrage from people here, consequently on the first time Obama has been cast in a negative light.

    “Obama is merely recommending that parents take responsibility for their kids.”
    Fair enough. But I don’t want the office of the president wasted on friendly parental advice.

    “He is not saying “video games are bad for our children”. He’s saying “bad parents are bad for our children”.”
    Yes. He. Is. I remember him specifically asking parents to “put video games away.” Granted, he was talking primarily about parenting, but the parent’s function is to turn of TVs and video games. It is reasonable (again) to conclude that he does not like video games and considers them detrimental toward the education system.

  49. 0
    xNoLaNx says:

    I’d like to see someone with the ability to read and reason write an article based on the very things they pasted into it. GP what sort of nonsense post is this? If you have political agenda to push just announce you support x candidate, no need to fabricate/lie to satisfy needs.

  50. 0
    Disgusted Gamer says:

    What a sensationalist article.. I swear, the interwebs are filled with half-cocked journalist these days..

    Maybe he shoulda’ just said, “Move our society away from drama-queens, so we can deal with REAL issues.”

  51. 0
    NonCharon says:

    Obama wasn’t villifying games any more than he was villifying TV, on which many people were probably watching him speak. The issue is excess, as stated many times above. Hey, I’m a beer drinker, but I’m not going to take offense if someone is making an arguement about addressing a social ill and says “put the beer down.”

    @yowsers…. hopefully we can find the soldiers other jobs that aren’t limited guarding the economic interests of large corporations in a foreign land, not to mention the whole being shot at and shooting at others thing.

    Not so sure that a “it will be bad for the economy to stop the war” argument is all that relevant. I’m gonna say that for me personally death or disfigurement of both soldiers and civilians is a bit weightier than people not having jobs waging war.

  52. 0
    Ninjamonk says:

    @ Nitherean

    “Hate to make it political….as both Clinton and Obama are better then anyone the Republicans have to offer.

    Obama = Style
    Clinton = Substance
    McCain = Draft you young’ins to fight a 100 year war “

    /start rant
    It’s people like you who frustrate me to know end. You take in the tripe sound bites that your candidate spews forth and then regurtitate them without ever bothering to think for yourself and maybe look into what the true original statement was in its proper context. McCain in no way wants to fight a 100 year. WWII over ended 50 years ago. Do we still have troops in Germany? Yes. Do we still have troops in Japan? Yes. This is the context in which he referenced the US being in Iraq in 100 years. He said that along as the safety of US troops was assured and that they were no longer actively in combat with the Iraqis, that he could foresee the US having a military base in Iraq 100 years from now.
    I bet you that few, if any, of the posters here have personally been affected by the horrors of war as much as Senator McCain has. I truly believe that he only keep the men and women of the US in harm’s way as long as the situation dictated, and not one moment more. His firm stance on human rights and against torture should tell you that.
    end rant/

  53. 0
    T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Obama has no qualms about stepping in: “But if the industry fails to act, then my administration would” He is cool with the idea, just like Romney and since Romney did not forward any legislation then the two are remarkably similar

  54. 0
    TRT-X says:

    @Mredria: “his position as given on common sense media is very similar to that of Clinton and Romney “

    No. It’s not. Clinton and Romney want to federally mandate what we can and can’t have access to.

    Obama is merely recommending that parents take responsibility for their kids.

    If Obama had said: “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the tv, and put the candy away…” would it suddenly be “Obama Campaign Theme: Candy as Metaphor for Fat People”?

  55. 0
    T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @”Give obama a pas” Comment

    I was saying this to illustrate the community’s willingness to cut Obama some slack even though his position as given on common sense media is very similar to that of Clinton and Romney both of whom were lambasted here.

    Again I’m not saying that either Clinton or Romney were right, but Obama is no better

  56. 0
    yowzers says:

    Why are people arguing over “what he meant”? No matter what Obama’s INTENTIONS are, I fear the worst for our country.

    Oh, sure, we may not get drafted into a war, but how many soldiers have to lose their jobs again?

  57. 0
    Locothrope says:

    the Jeff1y,

    Obama hasn’t called for laws to be enacted, so he’s not really nanny-stating anyone, unlike Hillary.

    And frankly, he’s reminding parents that they have a job to do, not telling them how to do it. There’s a world of diffrence there, and it needs to be said.
    Besides, if people take obama’s words to heart, and start getting involved with what their children are doing, guess what? a nanny state becomes unpopular and obsolete!

    Obama doesn’t WANT to make video games a government issue, he’s calling on parents to do their job, rather than the government to do it for them.

    Maybe you should think a little, instead of knee-jerk reacting to anything bad that comes your way, y’know like jack thompson does.

  58. 0
    Evan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think it is being misread, I don’t see a metaphor of underachievement. I see him saying that focus needs to be on education first, then you can get to your tv and video games.

    I don’t see any problem with that. He certainly didn’t say anything about banning games.

  59. 0
    Locothrope says:

    I’ll totally support this. it’s not a metaphor for underacheivement, what it is is a perfectly valid critique of modern parenting. Parents who don’t get involved in their child’s life and let the “electronic babysitter” run the joint create problems, like a lack of role models. when parents don’t raise their kids, it leads to “concerned mothers” bitching about how they need laws like Hillary’s because they’re too retarded to say “fuck your xbox, junior, we’re going on a family outing, where would you like to go?” So if junior doesn’t get to play mario party 8 for 6 hours a day, I’m fine with this.
    maybe if parents were more involved with their kids and helped to do things as a family that everyone enjoyed, junior wouldn’t WANT to play mario party 8 for 6 hours a day.

    Thats not to say that families couldn’t gather round systems like the WII or Rockband to have fun, I think those personally make awesome family games, especially when playing warioware.

    But what we’ve grown up is with a generation of parents who’ve let TV and video games raise their kids. Parent’s not responsible enough to be involved with what their kids are doing, and when they’re not doing that, they’re letting video games and TV raise their kids.

    Honestly, would you, as a parent, let your 10 year old play GTA San Andreas? or Kane and Lynch every moment of their spare time? I know I wouldn’t.

    I’m not saying they’ll make him a psycho or anything, but like certain movies and TV shows, they’re just not age appropriate, but many parents aren’t even involved enough to say “no, you’re not old enough”.

    Parents NEED to be involved with their children, and if that means less video games played, I’ll still support it. Because when we have parents raising kids, we’ll have better rounded children, and when parents can once again be held accountable for the way their kid acts, legislation to regulate video games becomes unneeded, and hard to support.

    To reiterate, it’s not gamers obama’s bashing, it’s irresponsible parents.

  60. 0
    The Economist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Right, taking his words as it is, he’s “unfairly” targetting games. But the truth is, it was a couple of words in his speech for one, and the other is he’s drawing on something that’s become an icon. Gaming as bad for children or making children lazy has been a message that’s long been playing, and gamers themselves have reinforced that perspective as much as non-gamers.

    How many gaming ads or gaming commercials begin with two boys (or these days men) sitting on a couch, with a stack of video games and snack foods around them? How many times does Hollywood or television feature a character stating that he’s a slacker and plays video games?

    Sure, Obama is perpetuating the whole “gamers are lazy” schtick, but he’s not the one that’s starting it, and it is not the crux of his message. Honestly, if you wanted to just win the point that he was badmouthing games, then congratulations! Now, please point it out the next 20,000 times its done as well and maybe we’ll start scratching the surface.

  61. 0
    Lalilulelo says:

    Wow, I’m all for video games, since I was old enough to hold a gamepad, but this is some serious stretching of material. Oh shit, you have to actually turn the games off and do your homework to do well in school and by extension adult life? How dare he! The nerve of that guy! This article strikes me as very stupid. They’re trying to spin his line, hard. Making a mountain out of a molehill. Like I said, I love games, to death, but the people who are successful from just playing them are the exception not the rule.

  62. 0
    Tye The Czar says:

    I’d like to point out that Obama was referring directly to parents. He’s not targeting video games that agressively, oy. Remember one of the earlier articles? He wants the parents to take more responsibility, oy.

  63. 0
    Muninn ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    how is this twisting anything? Obama said, to get smarter, children must put down their video games. therefore, according to Obama, video games are things that keep our children from being smart. Which is bad. So, according to Obama, video games are bad. But all that extrapolation isn’t even stated in the article. All that is in the article is this: “Obama said such and such.” How is quoting Obamas own speech twisting words? especially when such large chunks are taken at a time.

    There is no political bias here. Romney said some things, it got reported. Clinton tries to legislate some things, it gets reported. Huckabee does something, it gets reported. Obama says something, it gets reported. This article is not out of line with how every other candidate has been covered. That is the definition of a lack of political bias. way to go, GP.

    This is the fundamental problem with Obama. because he has no voting record, any of his comments can be interpreted however anyone wants. You don’t know that he’s just encouraging us to do something better with our free time. If he gets into office, he could do anything, and we have no idea what that will be, because he hasn’t done anything so far. That comment could come to nothing if he’s elected, or it could turn into sweeping anti-video-game legislation based on an initiative to improve our children. The fact is, none of us know.
    To be fair, he is not singling out video games, as he is also mentioning television. But we still don’t have a voting record showing how he feels about any of these things.

    Also, I fail to see how this is fundamentally different from when Romney made his comments about the ocean of filth. Certainly, there is a difference of degree. Romney’s comment essentially was, “video games are bad for our society”. Obamas comment essentially was, “video games are bad for our children”. A difference in degree, but the same issue, fundamentally. How can none of you see this?

  64. 0
    Pominator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    factor in that he IS trying to do something good for all gamers, the less annoying yankee kids on xbox live the better!


    I do reckon that he has the best interests of all people at heart, and I totally agree that young children should not be playing 24/7, if anything this further reinforces my belief that he is the president we have all been waiting for!

    (and he looks like an old Lewis Hamilton!)

  65. 0

    I think that his message “Parents need to take responsibility” is exactly what the ESRB has been saying all along. I’ll admit I’m biased towards Obama…but he’s not condemning video games, just saying that kids need balance and that parents should take an active role making sure that thier kids practice moderation and find balance between work and play.

    Don’t think there’s anything wrong with that message.

  66. 0
    Jack ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    You said it best I think. Will you be sending a similar letter to Obama? Maybe throw in that video games fall under music and art. Or least they CAN fall under it?

  67. 0
    KayleL ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Obama, please come to Canada. Most Canadians support you anyway.

    Obama doesn’t attack video games. I find it great that he is just saying that kids should do more creative and active activities, and nothing is wrong about that on either side of the video game controversy(gamers and anti-video game activist).

    Instead of taking away video games, he is just encouraging us to do better things with our free time. That’s how anti-video game activists should of handle this the whole time.

  68. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “However, who would you vote for rather than Obama?”
    If there existed a magical creature that was a hybrid of Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani, I just may vote for that.

  69. 0
    Nitherean ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hate to make it political….as both Clinton and Obama are better then anyone the Republicans have to offer.

    Obama = Style
    Clinton = Substance
    McCain = Draft you young’ins to fight a 100 year war

  70. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t think he’s blaming the games as much as saying children are using them as an excuse. Besides I’ve taken him with a grain of salt sing the “Can wwe do it?” speech.

  71. 0
    matt says:

    I think that he’s right. How many of you complaining even have kids? I’m 28 with a 5 year old son and a 2 year old daughter and I probably game between 10-15 hours/ week. Now I try to do it all after we put the munchkins to bed, but that’s not always the case. I don’t think he’s trying to say that anybody that plays video games is a delinquent or an underachiever, I think he’s just saying that moderation is the key. If I’m spending more time playing video games than I am with my kids every week what does that teach them? How well do we expect them to interact with society if all they see is us typing away at a keyboard or button mashing some console?

    Just my opinion, I didn’t read all of yours and I doubt many of you read this.

  72. 0
    Michael Brooks ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I also defend Obama’s statements. Video games are awesome and my favorite hobby, but spending all your time just playing video games is just not good.

    Wasn’t Obama the one who said his daughters play Game Boy or DS? This is fine. And it sure is a hell of a lot better than Clinton’s rhetoric concering games.

    Go Obama!!

  73. 0
    Roebuc says:

    I have to say, I think Obama is the best canidate for President, I was a little nervous of him at first, but I am starting to agree with most things he says. Much better than CLinton, thats for sure. I agree with him, everything in moderation. I am sure he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with have some downtime, and when you have some, do whatever makes you relax. The problem is when kids, college students, or even adults get so addicted to a game they fail classes, lose jobs, lose their marriage, and even let their child die(Has actually happened in Japan when two parents left their newborn in a crib for more than 13 hours wile they played WOW. If I remember right, the baby unable to roll over, drowned in its own throw up.) I agree, parents need to parent and put a drive of excellence in their kids. Teach them how to manage their time wisely!

  74. 0
    Howell2751 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m still going with Obama so far, haven’t been really given a reason to change my mind on this lesses of 3 evils.

    As far as his comments go, its *almost* hits all bases in general. I mean kids do need to put down the video games and get out more, definently agree there in some aspects, which is why i’m not running around screaming hes anti-video game *yet*

  75. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “The political bias shows quite a bit here. This is the best attack on Obama the writer can come up with?”
    GP will always cast those who want you to stop playing video games in a bad light. However, I never heard these kinds of comments come from you guys when he was bashing Romney, Clinton, or Lieberman.

  76. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Josh –

    I think that the vast majority of kids in the US today spend a lot more time watching TV and playing games than reading fiction, going to plays or going to movies. He could have listed them all, but once again your speach loses it’s ability to get through to the masses when you start getting so specific about *everything* you say.

    Sure, he could have used a term like “non-constructive media and entertainment” but the strategy he is using is trying to strike a chord with a specific audience. In such cases, it is better to list some specific mediums that will be widely recognised. Is that such a bad thing? Yes, he is a politician, but he is still the best choice out the bunch available this election (IMO).

    @the1jeffy –

    You say “hot air”, I say sound advice. I don’t think that advising parents is a bad thing at all… obviously you think it is, altho I’m not sure why it annoys you so much. I agree that it is a political strategy, and games are targetted because they are a hot topic, but at least he is not attacking them outright like some other candidates are…

    I would be interested to know who you support as a candidate, and why, since you are clearly against Obama…

  77. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    So, if he doesn’t plan on trying to enforce what he says by policy enforcement, then why is he saying it at all? Oh yeah, it sounds good, and he doesn’t have to do anything about it (at best), or at worst, he plans on doing something about it. Neither is good for us. Like I said, hot air, no plans.

    “Obama said if government regulation is necessary, it shall be done. Hillary wants government regulation even though it is not necessary. There is your difference. “

    Is necessary? What tripe is that? You’ve just handed the government the keys to regulate video games. Parents either care enough to regulate media themselves, don’t know how to, or plain won’t. In two of those cases, an argument can be made that regulation is necessary. Who gets screwed? As always: Good Parents.

    The only thing that can help: Education. More parents need to know games aren’t simply kid’s toys. The government has no compelling interest here, and for a Presidential Candidate to harp on about ‘change’ where he has no power to (currently) and shouldn’t have power to, aren’t people suspicious?

    He’s using spiritual leader rhetoric and the masses are drinking it like poisoned Kool-Aid.

  78. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Pichi –

    He is generalising. And it’s not really an unfair generalisation…

    The speach kinda loses it’s punch when you try to cover every single possible base with every sentence you speak… I understand this, so his statements about games do not bother me. In general, they are true.

  79. 0
    Josh ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why is Obama getting a free pass from this comment? He’s equating video games as irrelevant entertainment. You don’t hear him saying “put down fiction books” or stop going to plays, or feature films. He’s using the same tactic as every other politician, using video games as an easy target. Any other politician saying similar things is not looked upon quite so forgiving. People need to stop pretending that Obama has intentions different from any other politician. Most politicians even conservatives, don’t propose any other regulation other than keeping M games from minors, and I’m sure Obama supports those laws just as rigidly if not more. It’s this type of rhetoric that’s ignorant and damaging, not just legislation.

  80. 0
    OP says:

    I agree with all the sentiments spoken here which say that Obama’s stance on video games is not entirely unfounded. As much as i value the content of this site and its reporting, i do feel it’s a bit extreme to make note of one line in a speech by a politician who shows no signs of anti-video game sentiments.

    When he is telling us to “put away the video games,” he is right. He doesn’t mean get rid of video games entirely. I see this as a stance that children today, whether it’s TV, Movies, or Games, are spending too much time on entertainment and not enough on education. This is not entirely untrue. I do not beleive Barack Obama wants us to destroy all television sets, so why beleive he has even remotely hostile intentions towards video games? I think it is merely an understanding that, just like any entertainment medium, video games are a hobby and an escapism that should be enjoyed but not allowed to consume your life.

    If that is indeed his point, then i see no reason to disagree.

  81. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Darth Astard

    Exactly, I think that’s what Obama is saying, Parents have to learn to say ‘No’ to their children, it’s happening far too rarely these days, I think a discouraging number of parents think the way to show their child they love them is to give them everything they want, when the true way to show love to your child is to stop trying to be a ‘friend’ and be a parent instead.

  82. 0
    DarthAstard says:

    I do think that parents should put away the video games when its time for homework. When I was a child I had a friend who’s parents only let their kids play games on the weekend and school breaks. It worked, the kid was in Honors classes in school and now works for GM as an engineer. Obama still gets my vote. at least he doesn’t consult with JT like Hillary does.

  83. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Shoehorn O’Plenty


    Nice arguments. I think that the true reason he didn’t mention sports or church as examples are mainly because of how many people in the US would have perceived those comments. People see sports as a form of physical exercise and therefore “good for you”. People see church as spritually fulfilling and therefore also “good for you”. Most parents see video games as a massive waste of time and therefore “not very good for you”. I personally love games, but you cannot deny that this is the impresion in many adults in the US right now. He is being a politician and tailoring his speech to his audience.

    But you are right, he has unfairly targetted games. I just don’t think he really meant anything by it, other than to try and strike a chord with parents who think similarly.

    ““He could have also said “waste less time on non-productive entertainment and media and more time improving yourself”. Would that have made you happy?”

    Honestly, it would have.”


    Maybe I should run for president… :p

  84. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ L42yb:

    “Football, as a sport, brings a *lot* of money into the country. Way more than video games do. And playing football can lead to a career, whereas an actual career playing games (while possible) is much more unlikely.”

    I understand that football is a big business, but how many kids out of the millions that play as a pass time go on to be professionals and make a career out of it? As time goes on and the gaming industry grows, there are more and more jobs available in the gaming industry and this trend should continue. I actually work myself playing and testing games in the localization sector so it’s not impossible :)

    “As for “prayer books”, that’s pushing it way too far. Religion is not meant to be a hobby (and don’t bother pointing out to me how it is like a hobby for lots of people, that is not my point. My point is that it is *meant* to be a way of life, not a hobby). If he actually said “It’s time to put down the prayer books” he would be comitting political suicide, so it is unfair to expect him to do it.””

    I never said that it had to be a hobby, or that religion was like one. I’m talking about the fact that of all the other things you could do with your time other than studying, video games is brought up as an example and I find this a little bit unfair. If you take 3 kids, one spends all his time playing video games, another plays football and another goes to church for hours and prays. None of them are spending their time studying and all will have lower grades than other kids. It doesn’t matter a damn which activity you prefer or approve of, none of them are contributing to the child’s academic improvement. It just smacks a little of pandering and ignorance to single out games like this.

    “So come on, give Obama a break and acknowledge that what he is saying is not really a bad thing at all.”

    I know it’s a good thing he is saying, I just don’t appreciate the way he has a little jab at one of my preferred pass times in the way he says it.

    “He could have also said “waste less time on non-productive entertainment and media and more time improving yourself”. Would that have made you happy?”

    Honestly, it would have. No one activity is singled out as worse than another and the the message that kids have to balance their time and commit to their studies is still there. I understand that perhaps the image of kids sitting in front of the screens doing nothing is ingrained in society, but if a child is not doing enough study, whether they are sitting at a screen or running and kicking a ball in a field makes no difference to me.

  85. 0
    Glen Haupt says:

    I have absolutely no problem with this stance, and anyone who is against government regulation of video games shouldn’t either.

    The keyword Obama uses here is “parents.” As far as I’m concerned, the fact that Obama thinks that is it up to the parents to get their kids to do what they think is best for them is a testament to his character.

    If he was, on the other hand, saying that it’s time for the government to get kids to put the games away, then I’d have a big problem with Obama. But he’s not, he’s telling parents to parent.

    Obama should be praised for this kind of thinking.

  86. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Obama is all hot air with no solutions. We’ve been saying [to parents] to get up and raise your kids [this includes not letting them games all day or don’t buy your 5 yr old GTA20X6], but first, how is it the Executive Branch of our Federeal Government’s job to tell people how to raise their kids, and second, just HOW will he do it?

    We all yell at Hitlery for Nanny-stateism, but when Obama just words it differently, we lap it up. Look, when I want a spiritual leader, I’ll talk to a Priest, Reverend, Immam, Cleric, Rabbi, Monk, Zen master, or my mother. Not a Democratic Presidential candidate.

    A President has no business telling people how to raise their kids. Even when we agre with his ideas. IT’S NOT HIS JOB.

  87. 0

    Thomas P’s hit it right on the head folks, Obama’s not calling for the ratings system to be overhauled like Hillary, he’s calling on parents to actually do their jobs and parent their kids aggressively, not be a passive parent.

    And to the above poster who said they were gonna abstain and not vote for either candidate, all that I have to say is that we can do a hell of a better job than our current president, that’s all.

  88. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I shall remain skeptical and fearful as I always have. “

    lol :-)

    cynical one, aren’t u ;-p U may be right tho, time will tell. However, who would you vote for rather than Obama?

  89. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Barack Obama does not have a significant track record with regard to video game content issues.”
    He doesn’t have a real track record about ANYTHING. Maybe if he were to spend his term as a Senator actually VOTING on things, I’ll give him a more serious look. Charisma for me counts for shit. I want a voting record and capitol hill experience. No speech can hide what you have done there.

    “Give Obama a pass, he’s earned it”
    Not with a very Democratic “nanny state” mentality, I will not. I shall remain skeptical and fearful as I always have.

  90. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Shoehorn O’Plenty

    “Why not say “Put down the football” or “Put down the prayer book”? “

    I understand what you are saying, but there are fairly practical reasons why no politician would say what you suggest.

    Football, as a sport, brings a *lot* of money into the country. Way more than video games do. And playing football can lead to a career, whereas an actual career playing games (while possible) is much more unlikely.

    As for “prayer books”, that’s pushing it way too far. Religion is not meant to be a hobby (and don’t bother pointing out to me how it is like a hobby for lots of people, that is not my point. My point is that it is *meant* to be a way of life, not a hobby). If he actually said “It’s time to put down the prayer books” he would be comitting political suicide, so it is unfair to expect him to do it.

    And games aren’t entirely singled out. He also says “turn off the TV”, which is a really good thing. Watching the vast majority of TV programs is probably the least productive thing a person can do. And as much as I love gaming, most games are also a massively unproductive (and that’s why we love them). The whole point is that playing games is fun, but needs to be done in moderation :)

    So come on, give Obama a break and acknowledge that what he is saying is not really a bad thing at all. He could have also said “waste less time on non-productive entertainment and media and more time improving yourself”. Would that have made you happy? 😉

  91. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t have a problem with someone saying ‘We need to ignore the distractions and focus on the problems’, it’s certainly better thought out and more intelligent than ‘put down the controller and get a life’…

  92. 0
    Waffles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t really find anything wrong with Obama’s comment. However you spin it, He’s basically saying “BE A PARENT, RAISE YOUR DAMN KIDS, DON’T LET THE TV RAISE THEM FOR YOU”.

    Which honestly, is a stance that I think we all can agree on.

  93. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    I think he’s more or less advocating balance, not outright putting that stuff out of one’s life. And I do like that he also would like to see emphasis on the arts instead of just prepping a kid to sit behind a desk the remainder of his life.

  94. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Mogbert:

    ““Put down the video games” is something that has to be done from time to time. Games aren’t life, they are a part of life, and if you can’t put them down then something is wrong with you.”

    I understand this but my problem with his comment is that he singles out video games. Why not say “Put down the football” or “Put down the prayer book”? Sports and religion are a part of many people’s lives, yet spending time on them at the expense of your studies will affect your education. If people can’t put them down, then something is wrong with them, yet video games are highlighted in Obama’s comment.

    I believe he should have worded things more ambiguously while still retaining the message of encouraging children’s education and acting responsibly in supporting it. eg. “We’re going to have to parent better, make sure our children don’t skip their studies for anything else, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”

    It may not have the same punch as “Turn off the tv! Turn off the video games!” but it is more reasonable and covers any activity that kids might spend their time at instead of studying, be it sports, video games, hanging out at the mall, etc.

  95. 0
    Arion ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    yeah..so video games invite laziness. a fair opinion i think…though he is a bit wrong for generalizing..but that’s what I expect of all non gamers.

  96. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Look, I likes games as much as the next guy, probably a whole lot more. However, it IS true that if you want to pass college, if you want learn Japanese, if you want to make a baby, you HAVE to stop playing the games for at least that long.

    “Put down the video games” is something that has to be done from time to time. Games aren’t life, they are a part of life, and if you can’t put them down then something is wrong with you.

    I’m a huge gamer, however I also just about aced college (I got a B in english, sue me). I had to do homework, I had to do research, and I only studied and did homework ABOUT video games some of the time.

    So far this isn’t a bad message.

  97. 0
    IllegallyMindedJohn says:

    I see no problems with a parents need to parent, turn off TV & games and educate kids… My parents forced me to go to school, do my homework, and finish my chores before allowing me to play games (be it outside or video games). That’s how I’m going to parent… you can’t be a passive parent.

  98. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There is nothing wrong with what he said there. He didn’t say that we need to ban games, or stop playing them entirely. I think that the general spirit of what he’s saying is that parents need to be a bit stricter and control how much time there kids are spending doing these things so that they can focus on studying more. It’s good advice.

    Everything needs to be in moderation, or it becomes bad for you.

  99. 0
    T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We need to give parents the tools and information they need to make choices about what programs their children are watching or what video games they are playing. As we move towards a digital environment, there is a golden opportunity for the industry to do this on their own—to use the latest in technology to give parents more information and more choice. For example, this technology could make it possible for parents to create their own family tier just by programming their television to block certain channels, block certain genres of programming like dramas, or block television at certain times of the day. The same can be said of video games, especially as we’re moving into an era when they can be downloaded as easily as today’s movies and television shows.

    I would call upon the video game industry to give parents better information about programs and video games by improving the voluntary rating system we currently have. Broadcasters and video game producers should take it upon themselves to improve this system to include easier to find and easier to understand descriptions of exactly what kind of content is included. But if the industry fails to act, then my administration would.

    And even if the industry does do some responsible self-policing, there’s still a role for the federal government to play. We need to understand the impact of these new media better. That’s why I supported federal funding to study the impact of video games on children’s cognitive development.


    Im not saying Romney was any better, but Obama is in the same boat

  100. 0
    DCOW ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If I had to choose between obama and hillary, I’d abstain. Neither gets my vote because they both fail on a level that I don’t want in my leader.

  101. 0
    UhhKris says:

    Hillary wants to ban ’em…
    Obama wants kids to find something more productive………..
    Obama > Hillary by about 5000423783248782344 points.
    That’s… 5000000000454385345345252535235 points for Barack, -49 for Hillary.

  102. 0
    MonkeyFace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “For Obama, video games seem to serve as a sort of metaphor for underachievement.”

    Thats a load of bull.
    He used it as an example along with Television as something distracting americas youth from getting the best education that they could
    which is actually quite accurate

  103. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”

    Responsible moderation as compared to outright banning…hmm…melikes what I hear from Obama

  104. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well… a metaphor can be taken different ways. He’s not claiming ‘vidya geimz r teh evil,’ he’s just saying parents need to get more involved with their children, which they should.

  105. 0
    LightWarrior ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I feel for the most part that our hobby’s been slammed around so much for the past few years left us a bit sensitive. D:

    Good to see how some of us still reconize that something like this wasn’t an attack on video games itself.

  106. 0
    Dracis says:

    Just like pretty much everyone else here, I have to agree Obama didn’t mean video games were bad, just that the parents know when to say “no” to their children.
    I’ll admit my daughter is pretty much spoiled rotten, but she knows when she gets home from school, school work comes first and if her grades are bad, the video games and TV gets turned off until they come up and she’s only eight years old.
    It’s just a shame that many parents out there have to be told what to do, because as I’ve already seen in my own neighborhood, some parents just don’t tell their kids no, or don’t know how to make their children listen, or even how to help their children better themselves.

  107. 0
    DarrelBT says:

    From what I’ve read, there’s nothing wrong with his speech unless you’re a couch potato or a basement dweller (ie. those who do nothing but watch TV or play games while contributing nothing to society)

    He’s basically saying “give TV and Videogames a rest for a bit” That’s different compard to “Imma go bannin the vidya gaems111!11”

  108. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    I agree with him. Video games and TV make great pass times, but they shouldn’t be the only thing kids do in their free time. His emphasis on music and arts is something that can be done. Get kids to be creative in their free time. Not only will they be productive, they can have fun doing it as well.

    But there is nothing wrong with playing games or watching tv as long as it is done in moderation.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  109. 0
    T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I recall another presidential hopeful that did not just single out video games yet the community lambasted him to no end

    Give Obama a pass, he’s earned it

  110. 0
    Blase says:

    I can do nothing but agree. People, not just kids, need to read and do a lot of other stuff. Games can teach and all but they’re only one piece of the multimedia world.

  111. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sounds like a reasonable guy, really.

    I know alot of people who say things like that.. they are not saying “video games are evil” they just view anything that takes alot of time as a bad thing if it isn’t academic studies.

    Of course, I would always argue “anything in moderation”. Constantly studying is just as bad as never studying.

  112. 0
    Scottland89 says:

    I’m like probably most here who don’t like him refereing to games in a bad way, however, like most, he’s probably the best canidate for being president, and atleast he’s not saying “Games are evil” stuff like Clinton says.

    Also, I can’t really disagree with it, as lets be honest, playing video games is lazy, wheather it’s fun or not.

    Anyway as a non US person anyway, I don’t have a say who’d be president but I still hope it’s Obama.

  113. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I applaud the man for his intentions of improving the education of his nation’s children, and putting forward the idea of instilling them with a desire to further and better themselves, but I just don’t agree at all with him using video games as an example of something that stands in the way of this goal. Children are perfectly capable of playing video games AND getting good grades/succeeding at school, it’s all a matter of balance.

    “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”

    Better parenting, I approve of. Turn off the tv? I would argue that a lot of what is on tv is atrocious these days, with all the vapid chat shows and mindless reality tv, as well as the promotion of the ignorant and unworthy as celebrities, kids are better off with less tv. Instill a sense of excellence in kids? Damn right! There is no more effective way of making a child better at something, than making them WANT to be better.

    But finally, he says we have to put the video games away. I understand that a kid who is aiming for good grades will have to switch off their console/pc and study, but that does not mean that when they have their homework/study done that they can’t play games to relax. It’s a passtime like any other, if you spend too long at it and neglect your studies, your grades will reflect this.

    I wonder what the reaction might have been had Obama said: “We’ve got to turn off the tv, put down the basketballs and footballs, and instill a sense of….”

    Or can you imagine the outrage if his words were: “We’ve got to turn off the tv, stop spending our time in church and praying, and instill a sense of….”

    It doesn’t matter what the activity is, any hobby can co-exist with successful studies as long as it is in moderation. Worked for me…

    Shoehorn O’Plenty, B.Sc, avid gamer.

  114. 0
    Conejo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    still better than Hillary by about 6 Billion percent.

    i’d rather have someone indifferent to games than actively trying to censor them.

  115. 0

    […] Games and Politics Tonight’s post is really about the idiocy of society and my passion as a gamer to stand up for games… not people. I am writing about the world at our finest after all [insert sarcastic smirk here]. See, I cannot sit quietly when someone starts blaming video games for their violent actions (in fact, I get into heated debates with friends every now and then). I’ve read quite a few articles about politics and video games. Maybe I’m getting my facts from all the wrong places. Personally, I think it is naive of some politicians to think that gamers suck at life (to make it an easy understanding to many of us gamers) [please insert another sarcastic smirk here… and this time, make it a BIG one]. […]

  116. 0
    AdioBam says:

    Additionally, Obama doesn’t have a track record for virtually ANYTHING. I think the best way to judge a candidate is through what they’ve voted for, and so far, I’m pretty Obama hasn’t voted for very much, and I live in Illinois, so I would know.
    I’ll bet Barack’s feeling pretty lucky right now. He doesn’t have a horrid track record like Clinton, mainly because he hasn’t been in office long enough, so he decides to run for president. Oh, and he’s African American. And a Liberal. So of course the media runs straight to him.

  117. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I see no problem with this. He’s not saying games or media need to be censored but that kids shouldn’t be inside all day playing video games and watching T.V. but rather go outside and play. Let them play video games and watch some T.V. in moderation but then have then go outside and play hockey, basketball or go fishing with their friends.

  118. 0
    Skyler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Are people seriously threatened by this?
    I mean, I’m all up for defending video games and all that, but, man”

    I acted more in response to those who were like “how dare you try to tarnish the perfect name of Obama!!!!”

  119. 0
    TRT-X says:


    Obama said it himself: “We’re going to have to parent better…”

    To him that means turning off the TV and video games and actually raising the kid themselves. He’s concerned of the disconnect forming between parents and children in today’s society. It could be games, television, the internet…anything that parents plop their kids in front of rather than raise them.

    He is not saying “video games are bad for our children”. He’s saying “bad parents are bad for our children”.

  120. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    This is partially true tho if you sit on yer ass all day playing games all day you are going to grow fat…and odd….. >>

    Zippy is odd…and fat…..SHOCK!

  121. 0
    Todd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t think he was bashing games, he was bashing parents who let TV and games do the parenting for them. I think most people would agree that is a problem. He’s saying “put away the electronic baby sitters and be a parent by interacting with your child”.

    Don’t look at everything so dang pessimistically.

  122. 0
    Mredria ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Mmm. That’s some good Kool-Aid.
    For-the-kids. It’s Rhetoric that can help candidates everywhere.

    The Kids Are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace – John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade.

  123. 0
    Pichi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What about educational TV and video games? Not only that, but you can also be with your child and expand the learning even more from it. Play time together and learning.

    I feel as though he left the many genres of TV and games were left out. You can turn anything like that to positive.

  124. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    At no time does he state he wants legislation against TV and video games as forms of media. All he states is he’d like parents to focus their kids beyond just these things. Honestly, I take it as he sees what many of us see… Parents who rase kids in front of a box. I know I’ve seen it. Parents who just put the kid in front of the TV or with video games in hand so they can socialize and act as if they’re still single.

    …now before I get attacked let me clarify. Every parent needs a break from their kids now and then for a sanity check. Anyone who disagrees has never had kids. I’m talking about those who let the TV raise their kids rather than interact with them.

    I honestly have to agree with Mr. Obama’s statements. I’ve always been able to balance gaming and the real world. There’s nothing wrong with calling for media in moderation.

    …Media in moderation… Hmmm… I should coin that term now lol

  125. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @the1jeffy –

    I don’t think that he was saying that he plans to legislate how parents must raise their children… if I thought that was his intention then I’d be very anit-Obama too.

    All he is doing is giving advice, recommending that more parents make sure that kids focus on their schoolwork before letting them watch tv or play games.

    As for how he plans to do it, I think you have already seen that. He plans to make speeches and appeal to parents to do it for themselves. There is no constitutional way that he could *force* parents to raise their kids properly, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with asking them to do it for themselves…

  126. 0
    Dalorei says:

    I watched his speech last night and I kind of saw this coming, but at the same time I hoped that it would be seen in my context.

    Let’s face it, we play video games to kill time and entertain ourselves (unless you’re a tourney gamer like Fata1ity who makes a living out of it) and that’s a good thing. Now what’s the old saying? Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. What he means is that kids shouldn’t be playing games and watching TV 24/7 and not doing their schoolwork and I agree with him. I only turn on my consoles when all of my homework is done.

  127. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    He’s still got my vote. I agree with the others; video games are pastimes. Too much of them can be a distraction. I remember when I was a kid and my parents encouraged me not to play too much Atari 2600 and concentrate on my homework. It’s an old message and frankly, not a bad one either. Obama is advocating common sense; something it seems is in short supply among most politicians.

  128. 0
    Captain Fong the Pirate Ninja says:

    Is there more productive things children can do besides video games? Eh, probably. Are they as fun? Maybe. They should find a balance, for it is a disciprine… Yoi yoi!

  129. 0
    Mitch says:

    From what I see he’s not using them as a metaphor for underachieving at all; he’s pointing out how lazy parents use them as substitutes. Which is questionable in itself, since the right kind of TV and video games can be very healthy in a child’s development, but I think you’ve misinterpreted him.

  130. 0
    whyzguy says:

    I don’t see the connection between games and laziness, more the opposite.  If a child’s parents regulate them with tact, a child will do everything they must to get to play their games.  I feel that games are the future of ALL entertainment AND education.  It would take a great deal of revolutionizing of the current educational facilities, but when it was finished the kids would actually want to go to school.


    I make games for education… whyzguy3000@hotmail.com

  131. 0
    Darth Malice says:

    Although as a gamer I find this incredibly tactless and tasteless, he doesn’t seem to be a wingnut like Thompson who wants them banned. I think he is using video games as a ploy to gain votes from parents and the elderly because most of them still think that games and gamers are mindless instead of seeing them for the works of art they are, and gamers as the thinking people of this generation. Shameless, but it will probably always work until the parents-who-are-gamers demographic doubles again.

    All in all, I’m not worried because even though politicians love to slam games, they know dang well they can’t do anything about an industiry that rakes in money the way it does. Thats why I love capitalism, "It makes money, therefore it is."

  132. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Screw you dude. I play video games, but it doesn’t meen I am an underachiever.  I have High Honor Roll coming out of High School, and I am curently attending Carnige Mellon in Pittsburgh, I have a life. I skate board, and hang out with my friends.  My fav. game out right know is GTA4, and I play that on a regular basis, So Fuck off OBAMA, and Hilary.

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