Obama’s FCC Transition Team Has MMO Background

The co-chair of President-elect Barack Obama’s FCC transition team is a World of Warcraft geek.

That word comes by way of GigaOm, where Wagner James Au writes that Wharton Prof. Kevin Werbach (left), a Net Neutrality advocate is steering the Obama team’s takeover of the FCC (presumably between WoW raids).

In fact, Werbach belongs to a pair of WoW guilds. He wrote of his gaming in a 2006 blog post:

I play Warcraft because it’s fun. It’s taking time away from watching TV, reading books, and other entertainment pursuits. But I’m also playing because I believe MMOGs will be one of the primary forms of social software for the next decade. Defined broadly, they may become the dominant form of social software. And you can’t understand games without experiencing them first-hand…


What [WoW] does is provide an incentive for people to develop new software and ideas for collaborative production. Many of those ideas will translate to other group activities, including those within the business world…

As Au notes, Werbach’s WoW experience is a plus, since online gamers have a major stake in the Net Neutrality issue. Also of note, Werbach’s co-chair, Michigan Prof. Susan Crawford, is an admirer of Second Life:

Professor Crawford, a board member at ICANN, also counts herself “a huge fan of Second Life” for the way it lets users retain IP rights to their content (though she confesses to difficulty when it comes to moving her SL avatar around.)

GP: We’re dying to know – does Werbach play Horde or Alliance?

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  1. Adamas Draconis says:

    *Yawn* It’s just Jack. Lets just smash this little bug with the Banhammer and move on, he’s not that entertaining anymore.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  2. Ascalon says:

    I find it hilarious when politians and celebrities claim to play games and then spout crap like this:

    "What [WoW] does is provide an incentive for people to develop new software and ideas for collaborative production. Many of those ideas will translate to other group activities, including those within the business world…"

    Not even close. The only that WoW does is demonstrate that gamers and particularly the wallets of gamers moms are a very exploitable source of money. All you need to do is create a virutal substitute for cocaine and youll be raking it in. You dont even need in game advertising like they tried to do in Battlefield 2142. You just need to design a game this is a) addictive as hell, and b) make sure that every facet of the game wastes as much of the users time as possible. Throw in easily accessible payment methods like a gamecard and youll be laughing your way to the ebank

    I used to play WoW and i quit because i got tired of wasting 10mins watching myself fly from orgrimmar to tanaris. I now play Warhammer online and ive also gone back to neverwinter nights. The only good thing about WoW is that it serves as a prison for all the gamers i dislike playing with and against.

  3. elal says:

    Do you enjoy the verbal harassment you get every day? Seriously, what do you get out of it? Are you combination attention whore/internet-masochist? Insane? Or did you simply never learn that fire is hot and it burns? Or is it that you want to go down in a final blaze of incompetance?

    Secondly, I doubt videogames are high on the agenda. It probably isn’t even on their minds right now, what, with death threats, the war, healthcare issues, taxes, and the rest of our economy.


  4. Shadow D. Darkman says:



    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  5. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I’ve got a number of things to say to you, Jack. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to say them all, so I’ll just put them in a nutshell and say…



    Collin Griffin, A.K.A. Shadow Darkman, Sane Human Church-Goer, And Jack Has Been Shown The Door.

  6. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Have you read "Super and Jazz" yet? If not, then MOVE YOUR ASS AND DO IT!!!


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  7. nekusagi says:

    …my first reaction is a resounding "what."


    My second reaction is, how do you know ANY of this? Obama’s transition team "pimping" soon for a bailout (and what the holy hell does THAT mean?), Nancy Pelosi plays GTA (huh?)…


    You know, I usually feel sorry for attention whores like you. Because they generally need friends. But in your case, you’re not even TRYING for it with these sad hijinks. Honestly, I can’t feel pity for anyone who doesn’t try to improve their situation.  -Nekusagi

  8. DavCube says:

    Mr. Thompson, i’ll say it once again: T2’s stocks going down was NOT your doing. In case you didn’t notice THE WORST GLOBAL ECONOMIC RECESSION IN OVER FIFTY YEARS going on around you, i suggest you look up what ‘recession’ means. Everyone, and i mean EVERYONE, is losing money because of this.

    Secondly, I’m quite positive Obama has much, much, MUCH more important things on his mind than ‘taking down’ a little video game company, or regulating their sales in any way. What things, you ask? I don’t know, something like two wars, this gigantic economic free-fall, and dealing with more death threats than any other president-elect. (though i bet you’re blaming that on the ‘e-tards’ too, right?) But of course, you wouldn’t see that. You’re the one who was wringing his hands in glee that some guy was ignoring you to talk about the death toll of Hurricane Katrina. I’m sorry, but natural and manmade disasters of epic proportions are much more important to the world than the miniscule death toll of those killed by people who happened to enjoy GTA. (Miniscule in comparison, mind you.)

    Third… my God, sir, you’re actually PROUD of that infantile username? The only reason i even made this was because i based it off of that of a friend of mine a very long time ago.

    David Gagnon, Resident of Reality, and You’re Not.

  9. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Wow, interesting… you always talk like T2 were the only videogame company in the planet. Even if T2 would dissapear, there will be another company producing violent games for mature audiences, even if you cry over and over again. And nobody will stop that.

    Good luck at life.


    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  10. Derovius says:

     If your government won’t help out The Big 3, which employ millions of citizens directly and tens of millions more by proxy, Take-Two won’t get a bailout. I can’t understand how your nations government can rationalize corporate welfare when your entire system is suppose to be based around Adam Smiths Capitalist model. Where is the invisible hand? If your government wanted to help the economy they’d have bought out the major lenders and sold them back to the market at whatever they could get, and shoulder the loss.

  11. michelleobamarama says:

    Looks like Obama’s transition team may be pimping soon for a bailout for Take-Two.  Shares were at $27 earlier this year.  Genius Chairman Strauss Zelnick presided over the stock’s close at $9.80 today.  Way to go Strauss, baby!  But don’t worry.  Nancy Pelosi plays GTA and can’t live without the next version.  Help is on the way!

    Michelle Obamarama aka Jack Thompson


  12. sandmich says:

    We’re dying to know – does Werbach play Horde or Alliance?


    Oh wait you mean in the game, sorry.

  13. deuxhero says:

    With this mans connections to net nutrality, lets hope he is against the nonsense "fairness" doctrine or "localism"

  14. katefitz says:

    One of the many reasons I was thrilled to vote for Obama was his apparent tech-savvy. This post makes me happy 🙂

    Re: Horde or Alliance, the screenshot from the 2006 article shows a gnome caster of some sort. I’d guess the "two guilds" are one Alliance and one Horde, based on how my WoW buddies operate.

  15. Thomas McKenna says:

    Well this is good news.  He’ll be too busy leveling his alts and raiding on his main to worry about the stupid idiots that call in to complain about some guy on the magical moving pictures box saying the "h"-word (h being hole.  For some reason, you can say ass, but you can’t say ass hole, so they censor out the hole.  Smart logic there).

  16. Doomsong says:

    I doubt that… unless doing Molten Core runs is our countries only objective….

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  17. Adamas Draconis says:

    I’m hoping that since there are ACTUAL gamers on the team we might actually get somewhere on DRM,IP,and other issues that, while not as important as health insurance or the enviroment, are relevant to the fact that this is the third millenium and not the 1950’s.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  18. ConnorM5 says:

    "My name’s Barack Obama… and I’m a hunter. My mighty bow slays any enemy in my path, and if the arrows dont get them, my Frost Bear ‘Colbert’ will. ….my name’s Barack Obama. And I’m a hunter."

  19. zel says:

    lol, i was thinking the same thing.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  20. E. Zachary Knight says:

    What’s with all the celbrity look a likes today. First We have Tim Allen and now George Cloony. Who’s next, Oprah?

    I do wonder what an Obama FCC will be like. I hope it will be good.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

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

  21. mogbert says:

    What, you never worked in retail? It’s already a lot closer to an MMO then you would think. Except you don’t level up for grinding, you mearly don’t get promoted to "customer".

  22. Father Time says:

    "many of those ideas will translate to other group activities, including those within the business world."

    I wonder what business would be like if it were trated like an MMO. Perhaps regular work will be considered grinding for a promotion.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  23. Adamas Draconis says:

    Considering this country was started by people so anal the English said "Get OUT!"?

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  24. Cheater87 says:

    I hope they tone down censorship on TV. Canada and the UK are allowed to say and show more then we are in the states.

  25. Adamas Draconis says:

    Nah they will get filed G-13.

    (And for those unfamiliar with the term. It’s a "waste paper recepticle")

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

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