Blogger: Why Gamers Should Back Obama

Well-known Second Life blogger Rik Panganiban has unabashedly come out for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

In a post titled Barack FTW 11/4! — Why Gamers Should Back Obama, Panganiban writes:

I think it’s high time that people get past this notion of gamers as passive couch potatoes divorced from the world around them. I’ve seen gamers raise thousands of dollars for worthwhile causes like Penny Arcade’s "Child’s Play" charity and games for US troops overseas. 


Gamers can be ardent defenders of Net Freedom or even protestors for Chinese nationalism.  Heck, they have their own blog devoted to politics.

Among Panganiban’s reasons for backing the Obama ticket (these are his words):

  • Obama Groks the Power of the Internet: …No, [Obama] didn’t invent the Blackberry, but he does understand that the Gamer Generation connects with each other in substantially different ways than generations before.
  • Obama Defends Net Freedom: …The ability of next-gen game developers to create online games depends on a vibrant and open internet environment, unfettered by artificially throttled and filtered access.
  • Obama Knows We Need Broadband: …you know how sucky it is to play Halo over a sketchy internet connection… 
  • Obama Supports Stronger Math & Science in Schools: America lags way behind the rest of the industrialized world in math and science aptitude in its high schools…
  • Obama Totally Pwns in Unreal Tournament:  He’s the only player I know who can go head to head in a Scavenger against a Fury equipped with Berserk and come out ahead.  Talk about presidential.  (Ok, maybe I made that up. But I hear his Wii Bowling score is 278.)

Rik is having some fun with that last bit. Actually, as GamePolitics has reported, Obama remarked publicly that the last game he played was Pong.

GP: If an established game blog presents a case for the McCain ticket, we’ll gladly publish that as well.

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  1. hqconverter says:

    Share Dvd tools with Mac users!
    Here is the result I want to share with Mac users:
    1) Cost/Performance: Everybody wants to gain more with less money.
    2) Speed: Nobody wants to waste too much time waiting.
    3) Profile: Of course we want our software can convert all kinds of video formats.
    4) Personal Demands: For example, someone just wants to convert part of the DVD video, or others want the special output video format like PSP compliant forms and etc.
    5) Easy to use: we want to make things easy.

  2. thefremen says:

    Obviously I meant Wheatbread, and I was not aware that Obama was in the senate for the last 25 years and backed policies which will lead to runaway inflation in the coming years. He may have backed the bailout McCain proposed which will devalue the dollar further and imediately but further de-regulation of banks will encourage further risky behavoir and will lead to more unfunded bailouts.


    TLDR: three endless wars and cutting spending by investing less in our future will lead to a much weaker dollar.

  3. Zevorick says:

    "Play as a policeman and try to settle down angry rioters looting grocery stores for their $50/loaf bread!"

    You don’t need John McCain to see people looting over bread. All you need is a hurricane >.<

    My girlfriend works at a local grocery store, and let me tell you… people are dumb when they are threatened. Before the hurricane people were literally, and I do mean literally, stealing bread/water out of peoples carts. She had to stop someone who was trying to steal water from an elderly womans cart after she already paid for it. After the hurricane when we had no power people were coming up daily and harassing the employees because they would not sell them any food when all they had left was rotting meat that was, at that current time, being thrown away. People were upset that they allowed the last very bit of food that was to be had to be given to a shelter that was running low on supplies accross the street.

    What’s the point? Whomever becomes president next, the country will still be there the next day. You can blame the president for a lot of things, but causing stupidity in people whom have no contact with them is not one of them.

  4. Austin_Lewis says:

    I enjoy where you suggest that John McCain will lead to the ‘$50/loaf bread’ while ignoring that Obama is the reason that you pay more for corn and many other foods in America.


  5. deuxhero says:

    basic economics only apply in bizzaro world?


    You tax more, and the evil companys have less to spend on product and labor. Resulting in higher priced goods and fewer jobs. The evil waskilcy CEOs aren’t taking a pay cut, you are.


    But that isn’t something the government schools teach I guess.

  6. thefremen says:

     There are plenty of good reasons to support McCain! Just think of all the new scenarios that will occur in real life which will be great to play in video game form.


    -Play as a soldier or general in the never ending war on terror on a brand new front: Iran!

    -Play as a policeman and try to settle down angry rioters looting grocery stores for their $50/loaf bread!

    -Work in an NSA call center and monitor innocent Americans while looking for "terrorists" (IE: liberals).

    -Are you a bad enough dude to save the president? From Sarah Palin that is. Turns out she’s more power hungry than Hillary.

    -Try to find a way to balance a budget with a 1 trillion dollar defecit by getting rid of 18 billion dollars in earmarks.

    -Relive the excitement and thrills seen in Mad-Max, only this time without the Australian accent!


  7. thefremen says:

     The problem with Libertarians is that you vote for Bob Barr but you’ll probably get Ron Paul. 

  8. Skyler says:

    Bob Barr should be getting the gamer vote, but alas, we are to believe that this two-party crap is the only way to go.

    “When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities” ~ David Hume

  9. alex encandar says:

     I intend to vote for obama and like both him and biden quite a bit. I do want to inform anyone reading this though that Biden has a god-awful tech related history.

  10. projecthappy says:

    This misses the point. Both politicians want better schools, think the internet is powerful, broadband is useful, and freedom is good.

    The difference is HOW they want to achieve those goals, and that’s subjective.

    He needs to make the case that the policies achieve those ends better, not just that he wants those ends to be met.

    Some of us prefer vouchers to create school competition instead of pandering to corrupt teachers unions and dumping money into the failed No Child Left Behind.

    Or prefer competition between internet providers instead of fixed price controls.

    Or prefer broadband to spread naturally through the market rather than subsidized by the government.

  11. Kajex says:

    … Yeahno. There’s a key reason why people should NOT back Obama strictly in terms of gaming, and his name is "Biden". Not to mention that, a many others have already stated here, gaming should be the LEAST of your concerns in regards to how you vote.

  12. projecthappy says:

    He can’t keep his arms out for a long period of time, so he can’t type without pain.

    The whole computer thing is a stupid issue. Presidents don’t sit writing private emails all day (ok, so governors do…), or need to know the difference between a mac or pc.

  13. Austin_Lewis says:

    Not as big a part of the economy as, say, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which brought about the huge problem in our economy today.

    Let’s review; 4 years ago, people started getting sub-prime mortgages.  Most of these people didn’t have the money to put 20% down on a house like you should, and many could barely put down 10%.  In the senate and congress, REPUBLICANS were calling for legislation saying that this was going to bankrupt the economy.  Mark Raines (Obama’s Economic Advisor), at the time working for Fannie Mae (or Freddie Mac, its hard for me to remember which) said that the Republicans were trying to keep the poor from getting loans because of racism, etc.

    Now, here we are, with Obama teaming up with one of the men directly responsible for this, and people think Obama will fix this?  Are you fucking kidding me?

  14. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    I thought it was his legs that were left permanenty injured (not that I care wether or not he can use a computer. if he’s president he can get someone to do it for him).


    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers!

    Jack Thompson is still a dick…

  15. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Good point.

    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! Jack Thompson is still a dick…

  16. deuxhero says:

    You do realize that he doesn’t know how because he phyisicaly do it can’t because of the injurys he got as a PoW right?


    And special intrest are why you support Obama? How does that make sense?

  17. Spartan says:

    As a gamer I find it hard to support a president that does not use a computer – an is proud of that fact. Additionally the way things have going with the laws, courts and special interest the past decade I’m supporting Obama.

    On a side note if anyone wants some good political humor please check out:


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  18. deuxhero says:

    How about this for McCain


    Game companys are in the 5% Obama wants to redestribute the money of, giveing them a. less money to make games resulting in lower quality games or b.higher priced games or c.causeing them to move to a forigen country.


     In the first two the gamer unarguably loses.

  19. VideolandHero says:

    I don’t see why everybody is calling video game legislation a non issue.  Video games are part of the economy.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  20. Father Time says:

    I think we should put a "both mangled and killed" option on all future ballots.


    God created alcohol so that the Scottish and the Irish could never take over the world. -Chris ‘Jedi’ Knight

  21. Thomas McKenna says:

     Right, like the dems have never tried to push for things that highly infringe on American freedoms.

  22. Austin_Lewis says:

    You mean like Biden, who helped push the DMCA in the first place?  Oh wait, I’m sorry, Biden’s his VP pick.  Oh yeah, that’s a consumer friendly person.

    Obama has done little to help the consumer over the corporate, he’s all talk and no substance.

  23. Thomas McKenna says:

     I disagree with that, respectfully of course.

    Obama has said that he will force his policy.  It doesn’t sound like one of cooperation, but of coersion.  Meanwhile, McCain has said he’d let the IT companies (games are included here) do what the companies want to do.  In other words, Obama would strive for a socialistic approach to the economy and companies while McCain would take the free market approach.  Time and time again it has shown that a free economy works better than one that is controlled by the government.

    Either way, both candidates want for more spending, more money, and bigger government, so I think what they plan to do with games is just more sand on the already massive sand dune on why I could/would dislike them.

  24. Father Time says:

    So I take it then in this election it’s not a matter of which candidate is more likely to try to censor games (that would be Palin but whether or not she actually tries anything is up for debate) but which candidate’s proposal will help the industry more (general economy aside). If that’s the case why should gamers gather behind one candidate just over games? There’s much more important issues than video games out there.


    God created alcohol so that the Scottish and the Irish could never take over the world. -Chris ‘Jedi’ Knight

  25. Volomon says:

    I agree their are more fundemental issues at hand.  However, I don’t think his views on the internet and education as it relates to gaming in general should automatically be thrown out the window either.  It’s the little issues that build the big picture.  In particular his stance on free and open internet speaks volumes.

  26. Father Time says:

    Better idea, support who you want and don’t blindly vote on games which is such a minor issue. There is so much important stuff going on right now that I doubt either of them will take much time to deal with games. We aren’t dealing with Clinton here.


    God created alcohol so that the Scottish and the Irish could never take over the world. -Chris ‘Jedi’ Knight

  27. Keddren says:

    Seriously, this.

    I’m as much of a gamer as anyone else here, but gaming legislature is a total non-factor in my decision making process regarding the election.  The crumbling economy (although today’s rebound is nice to see, even if I think it won’t last), the wars we’re currently fighting, and alternate energy are far more important.

  28. Mortium says:

    Don’t forget Copyright Laws. DMCA and the like. McSame is more likely to appoint judges that will be favorable to Corporate rights over Consumer rights.

  29. digdug says:

    He missed the most important reason to be for Obama if youre a gamer: the supreme court… the kind of judges he’ll nominate. If you want video games to be protected by the 1st amendment then you need judges that interpret the constitution "liberally". Obama judges are much more likely to interpet the 1st Amend more broadly and include video  games, and to say that that should be enforced on the whole country (federal and states). McCain’s judges will interpret the 1st Amend more conservatively/narrowly and give individual states more power to pass laws(state rights).

    And this is the most important, or one of the most important, issues in the election: the furture of the supreme court (and the lwoer federal courts). So people that always say the rights of video gamers isnt as important as other issues like the economy, wars, etc…are wrong. Nothing a president does will have as lasting an impact on the country as the kind of judges he nominates to the courts.

  30. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I’m with you on that. Only I don’t have the option of a write in. I have to choose who Oklahoma wants me to vote for or not vote. Not much of an option when Oklahoma only wants me to vote for Republicans and Democrats.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

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

  31. Zevorick says:

    Obama… the lesser of two evils. The more and more this campaign drones on, the more and more I dislike BOTH candidates. If the election doesn’t happen soon I’m just going to write in vote for my friend out of "protest"

  32. Papa Shango says:

     All I know is the last game Obama played was Pong. McCain has an invaders ripoff on his website. I think that makes him slightly less out of date right? Seriously though the blogger just wants more people to vote for Obama because he supports him. Not because it would make sense for any specific reasoning.

  33. Father Time says:

    "My proposals for providing broadband Internet connections for all Americans across the country"

    I haven’t read his proposal but unless he means giving each library internet acsess I don’t see how that will work without being really expensive. There are some people who don’t even own computers.


    God created alcohol so that the Scottish and the Irish could never take over the world. -Chris ‘Jedi’ Knight

  34. Rennie Davis says:

    As I posted in an earlier discussion regarding who in the gaming industry is supporting which candidate, a large group of science and engineering organizations asked Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama about their science and technology platforms. See

    The responses included no specific mention of video games, but the answers to the first question — "What policies will you support to ensure that America remains the world leader in innovation? — provides insight on how each of the candidates would promote technology development.

    Sen. Obama: "My administration will work to guarantee to students access to strong science curriculum at all grade levels so they graduate knowing how science works – using hands-on, IT-enhanced education. … My proposals for providing broadband Internet connections for all Americans across the country will help ensure that more students are able to bolster their [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] achievement. … Progress in science and technology must be backed with programs ensuring that U.S. businesses have strong incentives to convert advances quickly into new business opportunities and jobs. To do this, my administration will make the R&D tax credit permanent."

    Sen. McCain: "In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the ways Americans communicate with family, friends, and business partners; shop and connect with global markets; educate themselves; become more engaged politically; and consume and even create entertainment. … [M]y commitment to innovation is a commitment to the well-established entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of America’s thinkers and tinkerers whose inventions have improved our lives and promoted prosperity. … As President, I will … [f]und basic and applied research in new and emerging fields such as nanotechnology and biotechnology, and in greater breakthroughs in information technology."   

  35. E. Zachary Knight says:

    If you read Obama’s tech Plan and that science debate thing posted above, It is very clear that while Obama does not outright say he supports the games industry he would be the most likely candidate to be on the games industry side.

    He supports the development and distribution of new technologies. He supports voluntary ratings systems and their use. He supports open internet.

    All things that will benefit the games industry.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

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

  36. Chaltab says:

    It sounds to me like he’s letting pre-existing political biases affect his judgement. Neither candidate is more gamer-friendly than the other, as far as I can tell.

    Besides, I think issues like the economy and the war are just a bit more important than game legislation.

  37. Vake Xeacons says:

    Alright. You got me. The candidates’ stand on the wars and economy will be my deciding factor in voting. I want video game freedom too, but that may have to be put aside for more important things.

    Obama has definately been the closest thing to an ally that gamers have thus far. And he hasn’t REALLY been bashing us. I apologize for saying it. I’m sorry. But I’m tired of being bashed as a gamer by politians and lawyers. Truth be told, I just want to hear him say it. I just would like Obama to publicly announce, “Games are a healthy medium, protected by the 1rst Amendment. I will do all I can to protect gamers’ rights.” It would be nice to hear.

  38. rikomatic says:

    Rennie: Thanks  for mentioning the Science Debate. Very useful reading. 

    Obviously, Gamers (and everyone) should vote based on the most important issues the country faces — the economy, the war, the environment, etc. not just on who is "good for gamers."  Obama’s and McCain’s policies on education, broadband and math & sciences in this country are vital and important for everyone to consider on November 4.

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