Bonnie Ruberg Ponders Whether Video Game Issue Will Decide Her Vote

April 13, 2008 -
When you cast your ballot for the next president, will the candidate's stance on video game issues decide your vote?

It's a worthy question, and one that Bonnie Ruberg of Heroine Sheik asks herself:
The [presidential] primaries are front-page news even here [in France], and there’s a big election coming up in my home state of Pennsylvania, so French people always want to know, “Do you support Hilary or Obama?” Truth is though, I honestly don’t know...

When I try to explain my dilemma to a French person though, I always find myself falling back on the “Hilary wants to censor video games” angle though. And what do I get in response? Awkward stares that say, “You wouldn’t really vote for someone on the basis of video games, would you?”

The question is, would I? ...I really do think Hillary’s approach could be detrimental to our art form–especially if she’s the leader of the whole frickin’ country... Then again, Obama is no shiny light of tech positivism either. Al Gore, I miss you.


The future is looking slightly grim, isn't it?

"Al Gore, I miss you."

Between Tipper and Holy Joe, I think the other commenters have done a good job of explaining what is absolutely illiterate about this statement.

I would say Clinton's video game stance is far less important than other issues such as her militarism (still defending her Iraq vote with "I didn't know any better" -- I knew better and I was 19 years old, Senator; you're either lying or stupid, and I don't think it's the latter -- and sabre-rattling at Iran), but it also bears noting that it's a small part of a larger and more disturbing pro-censorship stance. Let's not forget she co-sponsored a bill to ban flag-burning.

An idea for Bonnie Ruberg: maybe you could find a more thorough set of complaints about Clinton than "she wants to censor video games" if you'd simply do your homework. Your tunnel-vision on Al Gore (who, don't get me wrong, I agree with on most issues, but media censorship certainly isn't one of them) suggests you haven't exactly engaged in due diligence.

Me? I'm backing Obama. Even though his stance on the media censorship issue isn't exactly clear, I think he's the best candidate. In the (decreasingly likely) chance that Clinton gets the nomination, I'll vote third-party. It's all moot anyway, as I live in Arizona; McCain could die of a heart attack three days before the election and still win his home state by 20 points.

It shouldn't be a deciding issue, but it does hint at how far a candidate is willing to go in terms of censorship. They may not believe in it themselves, but a candidate like Hilary knows that she can get the Scared and Lazy Soccer Mom vote be pretending to "protect" children.

But this girl is quite naieve if she thinks Gore would have been better in terms of censorship. While I like Gore, both he and his wife acted like a bunch of paranoid idiots in the 80's over heavy metal music. Perhaps his positions have softned since then, but I'm not too sure.

The only candidate I really like is Obama. Both Hilary and McCain are phony as hell. I've never liked Hilary all that much for a number of reasons. I use to like McCain but not anymore. Back in the day he seemed to actually speak his mind and supported measures that he really believed in. Now, to me anyway, he looks like only a shell of the man he use to be who is willing to bend over backwards for the most fanatical of the right-wing just to get the nomination. I mean he went from calling Fallwell and Robertson "agents of intolerance" (which they are) to being all buddy-buddy with them and having a speech at Fallwell's joke of a university. Plus his Net Neutrality stance is something I can't agree with.

@Darkness Deku

Wow, can't wait to see the day hillary tries censoring gas prices........How will we know what to pay?

Sorry couldnt resist.

Adiobam says:
"Just because he is against making it official does not mean he is opposed to it. As a republican, he believes that each state should make their own decision on things. Obviously, he wants the states to have a say in it."

Which is a totally moronic way to handle issues involving the internet, which is not only national, but global. So by letting "the states have a say in it," that would mean that in some states, Comcast could filter access to the internet to their customers, and in another state, they couldn't. Top it off with the fact that most voters don't even understand what Net Neutrality means, and you've got lots of ignorant people deciding in each state whether or not they want to pay extra for decent internet service. Most wouldn't even know that was what they were voting on, they'd think it had something to do with free enterprise and capitalism (which it is, but it's more complicated than that). But the telecoms shouldn't be allowed to economically censor information just to turn an extra buck.

This is an international issue, not a regional one. But since you can only pass laws within your own country, we'll have to settle for it being a federal issue, not a State issue.

@ chris

LOL! I meant she would censor people complaining about the gas prices.

@ Shaesyco

I hated Hilary when she screwed up her chance to fix the health care fisaco by trying to act cool, popular, and funny, instead of working at her goal.

Obama's stance on games has so far been only expressed as an opinion, not as a platform for change. He thinks they're a waste of time. So do a lot of people. But at least he hasn't had his hand in trying to regulate them or their sales, and he doesn't talk about them like they're some scourge that's turning our kids into murderers.

I don't agree with everything Obama says. Nobody could agree with any politician 100%. But I back him because he doesn't back down from his stances, and he talks about what he believes, not about what he thinks other people want him to believe.

Like that whole thing this weekend about him saying rural America is bitter and votes by issues like religion, immigration, and gun control. Clinton and McCain have been painting him as "out of touch" with Americans. And they're full of shit. I live in rural America (Southeast Ohio), and when I turn on call-in radio in the morning, all I hear is people complaining about illegal immigrants, religious issues, and gun control. Jobs and economy? Very little, because we've been without decent jobs for so long we don't expect the government to do anything about it. Sure, there are a lot of complaints about gas prices right now. But it's only because it's a current problem.

@ Anonymous

Voting a politician based on their stance on video games doesn't make you a "an ignorant, uniformed voter". How they act about games is how they most likely act about everything else.

I believe it is an important issue as it is an indicator of how the the candidate's attitude's and how they conduct themselves. The way Hillary Clinton as acted towards the censorship of video games shows that she does not look at the facts and will use scapegoats to gain power. She has done this with Obama's Pastor and NAFTA. She supported NAFTA at first but is KNOW against it. Her bad habit of lying about things like the Misspeak issue, NAFTA, use of republican tactics, clean election, etc. She is just plain too dirty to be worthy of president. Her lack of reliability and constancy will be an serious issue in her potential presidency.

With Obama, I think it probably is a bad metaphor on his part that could have been worded better. So far, he has not really made any anti-video game stances so we shouldn't make any rash judgments yet.

Regardless of her video game stance, Hillary still scares me.

Al Gore???

I miss debates about the lock box...

Hillary scares me, but Obama has been saying stuff recently that is starting to scare me as well... though less then Mcain...


Yes, indeed.

“We're Not Gonna Take It” would be a good anthem for us, now that I think about it.

God, I hope Jesse Ventura runs.

The video game issue won't affect my vote. All I know is that all 3 candidates are good liars. So I'm likely to vote Republican this year, surprisingly enough.

I'm just going to weigh my vote on the truly important issues. It is very likely we'll hit another great depression and hopefully they dismantle some unnecessary spending.

Hillary is a liar, Barrack's a cultist, and McCain is a gun control supporting republican. Essentially they all friggin' suck. I supported Ron Paul, but that train crashed and burned a long time ago.

“You wouldn’t really vote for someone on the basis of video games, would you?”

Would you vote for someone who wanted to censor any sort of art?

Considering the horrible job our current president is doing, the candidates' stance on video game violence, let alone games in general, is nothing as far as I'm concerned. I want a president better than the one we have now, even if he or she pushes for anti-game legislation.

For the record, only the legislative branch can pass legislation. The president can't really do a damn thing. People like Hillary are more dangerous as senators.

A canidates stance on games and the net are things I think about but there not the only thing I consider. Setting the whole of your vote on one issue seems dubious to me.


True. I can live without games (Barely, but only if I can keep my comics!), but I can't live if the econemy sucks so bad that I can't afford food.'Course, vidja games are one of the few things we still make in the US, so that's good for the econemy, right? Guess they fall on the same plate.

I'm not vioting for Hillary purely because of her video game sense.

I saw a clip from her(which was in an old back in black segment on the daily show) where she said we need to treat violent viode games like we treat cigarettes and alcohol. (If anyone wants a link I'll find the video again).

That statement disgusted me so much that I refuse to vote for her unless she changes her stance.

GRIZZAM 512 says:
"For the record, only the legislative branch can pass legislation. The president can’t really do a damn thing. People like Hillary are more dangerous as senators."

True, but a President can co sponsor a bill with any legislator, and as THE PRESIDENT they can get all the press time they want to talk about the issue. Plus, in the modern political climate, most Legislators of the same party as the President will vote for whatever they say.

So it's kinda naive and utopian to think the President "can't really do a damn thing" when it comes to drafting and passing laws.


I agree with you about Jesse Ventura running.

Bloomburg 08.

This year's crop of candidates really sucked.I don't think McCain would be for game censorsh*t,and not so much Obama either.But Clinton,on the other hand,I'm pretty sure she'd make it a priority.Still,I'm sure whomever won would make the more(prep. for backlash!)pressing issues like our sagging economy and the Middle Eastern theater a top priority.

Who is Bonnie Ruberg?

@ Father Time

Could you find the video? I'm interested in seeing it.

Both Hillary and Obama are terrible choices.

Hitlery is a communist who will leave this country deprived of more rights than we've already lost.

On the other hand, Obama will turn us into a subservient nation, and make us answer to nations like Nigeria (nothing we do needs to be answered to the likes of Kofi Anan or however you spell his name).

I really hope that game legislation isn't what people will cast their vote for or against, there are much more important issues at hand. Such as "is the candidate going to continue to run our country into the ground or not."

I think we the American people should be allowed to call a mulligan lol.

It isn't just that she doesn't like video games, or doesn't play them, but rather she thinks that video games actually cause people to commit crimes, and that she wants to censor content which is not only unconstitutional, but even if it were, it is beyond the scope of presidential powers, and that itself says to me that she either plans to abuse her authority, or she doesn't know what her authority is; given her "experience," I'd be more inclined to believe the former.

Of course, I have plenty of other reasons not to vote for Hillary, and plenty of reasons to vote for Obama. Video games is just one of those reasons.

Oddly enough, Hillary seems like a safe*ish* choice, considering everyone hates her and would be quick to question her. If Obama is against games(still isn't very clear on that) it's a problem, because everyone seems to like him(have you heard his supporters chanting his name? It's kinda spooky). Still, I'll support Obama over Hillary any damn day. Unless Jesse Ventura runs.

If Hillary is voted president games will be outlawed more so than porn..if Obama is voted games will will be regarded as a tool of stupidity and everyone will turn into tree hugging hippies running around in the sunlight instead. I do not know of McCain's stance so i cant exactly make fun of him.

Obama is a luddite in many ways, he thinks technology is a waste of youth and makes them fat. The second part may hold some truth for sure but technology is not a factor that causes stupidity and laziness. Gamers are just as smart as those law students who dont play videogames. I maybe wrong but Obama's stance on letting the children run free on the fields of meadows and creating a bad name for technology such as calling it a device of laziness is probably Obama's worst aspect in the eyes of gadget freaks and gamers.

Hilary on the other hand makes Obama look like a gaming fanboy, her views on censorship of the media to protect the kids is like nothing more than scapegoating. Did anyone remember that she fracked up when it came to universal healthcare?

Yeah she got paid off by the insurance companies, while most people would call that political suicide Hilary is till strong and people actually vote for her. She calls videogames a waste of time and life and calls for government regulation on it. But think about it.. Hilary being the turd that she is does not see the business aspect of videogames, the billions of dollars that can be fed into the economy and she creates a negative image in front of the American population, she tries to look like the parent helping the parent but she's like Hitler and forgive me if offending anyone, they both like the scapegoat for their country's social problems.

And to the person who wanted Gore in office, you havent heard of the PMRC have you?

Granted the Parents Music Resource Center was about the music industry only but that doesn't count out the fact that Mr & Mrs Gore were pro-censorship just because their damn daughter heard "unethical" music. The Gores at that time are considered as bad and as irresponsible for their child's actions just like some parents today. The point is that the music albums were treated like cigarettes and had labels put on them, just like modern day videogames.

Lets face it, where would you rather be?

At home playing San Andreas as a gangbanger homie? or an actual gang banger homie that has gats up to the teeth?

The fact is that the politicians of today are old....even Obama. A politician that is able to see that parents can do their own job and not expecting the government do their work for them is a good politician. A president that can see that the videogame industry as a whole is important to the economy and to the population is a good president.


The statement is at around 1:13
jhtml?videoId=125316&title=black-back-in -black-pet-causes

Based on all the candidates records and statements on video games and technology all together like internet censoring I think Obama is the best candidate. He has made statements to take kids away from video games for and have them read and be outside but I don't think that is really a statement against laziness. If Hilary gets elected I am moving to Canada.

Not sure why the link didn't work.

Base your vote... on the candidate's stance on video games? Seriously? Not the war, or the economy, or sustainable energy policy, or even the candidate's professed religious values?

I would hope that the readers of this site would not be so short-sighted or politically unaware as to think that media issues should be their first priority.

I've just had an epiphany! Its okay for gamers if clinton gets elected (Well okay for the gamers hobby, quite possibly awful for everything else they value).

You have to remember that what she's doing when she's talking about restricting games is making campaign PROMISES. We all know what campaign promises mean: jack & shit. They're bald faced lies designed to manipulate people into thinking that the candidate is the lesser of two evils (or however many evils there are) and voting for them. The probability of campaign promises actually coming true is about as likely as winning the lottery. The media reactionaries are inciting kneejerk fear in large numbers of people by lying about a new thing that's not well understood in the hopes of scoring slightly higher than their competition on the "fools duped" scorecard. Like any politician, clinton is seeing the mass potential (NOT the mass effect, after all there's no explicit interactive mega hot XXX porn) of that group of fools & promising whatever is going to allay their unreasoning fears in the hopes of getting them to not think about anyone else when voting. Basically the exact same thing that the "news"media is trying to do only clinton will have the power (at least hypothetically) to use nukes whereas faux news can only demand they be used.

I still don't get why this one is newsworthy, there must be hundreds of such posts on the net each day. As Tristram said, it is indeed bringing up a "Do we vote based on our hobby" question but so do heaps of other pages I've read over the last few months, just seems an odd inclusion to me.

Oooh perhaps there's a conspiracy! Hmm lets see... ahh yes! I suspect Dennis of trying to get it on with this woman! Possibly they're going to make a super race of game trained killers designed for the exclusive purpose of thwating jack thompson! (Hey, it may be a wildly unrealistic and moronic suggestion but there's more evidence than thompson has, after all this article actually exists!) Go on mate, give her one for me...

Base your vote… on the candidate’s stance on video games? Seriously? Not the war, or the economy, or sustainable energy policy, or even the candidate’s professed religious values?

I don't vote for Hillary because this stance pretty much will determine the stances she takes if she's president. The president is not someone who should concern him/herself with petty things like video games, there are much more important things to worry about in this country, like the falling economy, rising price of gas, unemployment, education, etc. But if a president is going to concern him/herself with VIDEO GAMES and make that part of his or her personal platform? I'm sorry, that just means they'll spend the next eight years doing nothing but looking for scapegoats whenever something goes wrong.

I know it sounds trivial to vote for someone because of their stance on video games. However, a candidate's stance on games can be a proxy for many other issues. I suppose it's a variation on the "thin end of the wedge argument" but if you cannot trust a candidate on relatively "minor points" can you trust them on major ones?

I'd say no, especially having witnessed the impact of Hilary's fiddling with video game issues. I'm incensed by her calls to misappropriate CDC time in a obfuscate the issue by medicalising gaming. The CDC is world class but overstretched, there are any number of deadly diseases out there in need of tracking (not least of which avian flu). Why should the CDC divert time, money and effort from serious problems just because Hilary wants to explicitly associate the words "video games" with "disease"? Even if her bill comes with extra money, that cash could be better spent on activities normally within the CDC's remit.


Apparently some of you don't think the First Amendment or the Constitution is important....

It's one issue of many why I don't like Hilary and didn't like Al Gore/Joe Lieberman (who was and might still also be a board member of the PTC IIRC). Then again I don't care for McCain or Obama either. I think I'll be writing in "None of the Above" on my ballot this fall.

Dumb and Dumber 2008

Well, the video game issue does show wether you're an *idiot* or not. So you could, if you wanted to, go off of that.

*SIGH* If only it could be followed through with.

@Father Time, the link didn't work, so I went and found the video for you on youtube, here it is:

Watch it you guys, its a lot more sickening than you thought, she actually compares video games to LEAD POISONING.
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