Mayor Hopeful Names Video Games as One of Top Problems Facing Washington, D.C. Youth

City Councilman Michael Brown (I, at left) hopes to mount a challenge to incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) next year for the top job in Washington, D.C. city government.

The Brookland Heartbeat reports that in a recent speech, Brown listed video games among the top problems facing youth in D.C.:

Mr. Brown criticized Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee… Mr. Brown also criticized the District’s school modernization program for failing to address what he said were the real problems facing District youth: lack of vocational/technical schools, gunfire, excessive video game playing, and lack of neighborhood amenities such as grocery stores.

Until those problems are solved, “it doesn’t matter how pretty the school is,” said Mr. Brown…

GP: Ironically, in 2005, while still a member of City Council, Mayor Fenty unsuccessfully tried to legislate the sale of violent video games to minors in D.C.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

34 comments

  1. Draewn says:

    While I can see how "excessive" videogaming could be a bad thing depending on their definition of "excessive"; I think it’s horrible that they are actually mentioning it as a problem for schools in the same breath as GUNFIRE. It’s just as bad to play too many videogames as to have guns being fired in/around schools or children’s neighborhoods? REALLY?

  2. hellfire7885 says:

    Usually these politicians saying kids spend too much time indoors are the same ones that are unwilling to spend money on playgrounds that had fallen into disrepair and have offensive grafitti all over them


  3. Aurontsubaki says:

    Once again, Politicians failed to gather evidence that video games are a problem in the U.S. Mayor Fenty if I was you, I’d get the earwax out of your ears & your ass & worry about more important matters then blaming entertainment as a problem.

    What we got here is failure to communicate!

  4. guyveroz says:

    I can’t help but think all these anti-gaming politicians are shooting themselves on the foot. With all the gamers they are pissing off don’t they realize these same gamers will be voters soon if not already?

  5. Shalrath says:

    "GP: Ironically, in 2005, while still a member of City Council, Mayor Fenty unsuccessfully tried to legislate the sale of violent video games to minors in D.C."

     

    That’s actually the opposite of irony. It’s incredibly fitting.

  6. londinio says:

    D.C. is one of the largest concentrations of M.S. 13 gang members in the United States and some lazy politician wants to blame videogames for perpetrating the problems with todays youth.

    Maybe if the politicians stopped shaking hands with the gang members that run the city, there would be more oppportunities because they obviously have no interest in changing anything. That creates paperwork.

    Just blame something that isn’t wrong. That way you just sign the same piece of bullshit legislation over and over until your re-election bid.

  7. mdo7 says:

     

    I live in Maryland just not far from DC.  First time I hear this.

    Mr. Brown criticized Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee… Mr. Brown also criticized the District’s school modernization program for failing to address what he said were the real problems facing District youth: lack of vocational/technical schools, gunfire, excessive video game playing, and lack of neighborhood amenities such as grocery stores.

    Yes, Mr. Brown I’m sure every gang member has played GTA and Saint Rows before they became what they are now.  Look, an urban area like DC has more chance to have gang then suburban area (LA in California is an exception, and also Detroit).  I’ve been paying real attention to the news, I have read that the DC schools had problem like Asbestos, breaking down due to ages, and lack of Police power.  Why don’t you fix that instead of putting it on video game. 

     

    mikedo2007

  8. Doom90885 says:

    All the problems this country is facing and we got ppl in California more concerned about gays and of course the ever present video games ruining society to kiss the ass of ignorant dumb ass parents who don’t want government oversight. Yet they want the government to act as the parents of their kids and regulate everything because they are weak, lazy or stupid. Anyway the signature sums it up.

     

    Everyday I lose more and more faith in humanity.

  9. Tyler Baumbarger says:

    So, playing video games too much is on par with gunfire, lack of education, and lack of grocery stores?

    Considering the early years of my childhood were spent in urban settings where gang culture was prevalent, I find that a bit insulting. Plus, basically he’s saying kids are spending too much time inside, they should go outside with the gunfire…

    I’ll agree with everything he says except for the video game comment. I played and still play video games excessively. I have nearly 20k gamerscore. I sometimes lack on sleep because I play video games a lot. But you know what? I know I don’t have a problem, because I am capable of going months without a game. Which I have done on a number of occasions, not even because I actively decided to but because I just didn’t feel like it. I use video games as a means of entertainment, what they are meant to be.

    People put too much stock in video games as the big boogeyman of today. Yeah, some people play them a lot. I know I sure as hell do. I know what any of the anti-video game activists would think of me when they read this. They’ll assume I am an underachieving 20-something living with his parents.

    Well, I’ve been on my own since I was 18, almost five years now. I work a full time job while going to school full time. I have good credit and have never even been a day late with a rent check. I do freelance web design on the side, in which I have never been late with a paying client. I managed to get nearly straight A’s this semester, even though Fallout 3 keeps getting expansions which I play until I have pretty much everything including starting a new character just so I could use the new perk along with the stat bobbleheads to increase him to maximum SPECIAL stats.

    Mmm… Fallout 3…

  10. Wormdundee says:

    real problems facing District youth: lack of vocational/technical schools, gunfire, excessive video game playing, and lack of neighborhood amenities such as grocery stores.

    I can’t really disagree with this, although I would change ‘excessive video game playing’ to ‘excessive media exposure’. The grocery stores part is a bit odd, probably just a bad example on his part.

    Also, it may be a problem, but I don’t think you can put it on the same level as lack of post-secondary technical schools, it seems a bit disingenuous.

  11. Mystic Violet says:

    Saying "excessive video game playing" is bad does not equal "video games are bad." What I have a problem with is the fact that video games were singled out. Excessive TV watching or excessive internet use is just as bad.

    However, I don’t believe that the problem is gaming or tv. It’s the fact that some of these kids have nothing else. There aren’t enough after school programs out there. Bullying is still a big issue that schools refuse to combat in any meaningful way. Some kids don’t receive the support they need in school or at home. Excessive gaming may be a sign of hardship, not laziness. Video games are often used as an escape from a harsh reality.

  12. Bennett Beeny says:

    I agree.  Actually I’m surprised the article is getting this much reaction.  Surely everyone realises that doing anything ‘excessively’ is not good.

  13. nighstalker160 says:

    I see Dennis’ point here but I think its important to remember that not everyone who says "our kids play too many videogames" is saying "videogames are evil."

    I happen to think a lot of kids play too many videogames, watch too much TV, and general just need to get up off their fat asses a little more.

    But I don’t think videogames are bad.

  14. Yuuri says:

    In a lot of improvrished neighborhoods, the only ‘grocery stores’ are the little mom and pop type. Because they (the mom and pop stores) don’t have the turn over of their stock, their prices are significantly higher than a big chain grocery store. Example, a chain grocery store typically (in my area) charges between $2.75-$3 for a gallaon of milk, at a mom and pop that same gallon of milk is $4+. I had read an artcile on Yahoo about how one has to be rich to be poor. www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/may/24/fact-of-life-for-poor-all-that-they-buy-costs-more/

    When the staples of life cost more, there is less to go for ‘luxuries’. *edit* It means typically both parents (provided the parents are still together) are working, and are either relying on day care or family to watch younger children, the older ones are typically left to their own devices…

  15. Valentia X says:

    I’d like to know to, aside from the fact that he’s just trying to pander to alarmists. Unless he’s advocating grocery stores so they can get jobs?

  16. Brokenscope says:

    Grocery stores? Seriously. How is a Grocery store going to help the local youth. I’ve always thought green space, sports, and local ties were the important things.

  17. MechaTama31 says:

    Actually, he was criticizing the guy running the school district in that part, not the current mayor.

  18. mdo7 says:

     

    *as Andy*

    Today folks, we’re going to have a shitty day.  It’ll be rainin shit and stuff.  Oh shit!!

     

    mikedo2007

     

  19. Larington says:

    In other news, a study has been released which reveals that human nature is the cause of most of the worlds problems.

    Now over to Andy with todays weather report…

     

    (Sorry, couldn’t help myself)

  20. Valentia X says:

    I can vouch that it at least causes fantasies of violence, many of which make GTA games look like Animal Crossing.

  21. Brokenscope says:

    Working in service industries and having to interact with customers probably causes violence.

  22. ZippyDSMlee says:


    Learning, building confidence over your skills ,ect,ect,ect

     


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..


    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com

  23. Michael Chandra says:

    "Until those problems are solved, “it doesn’t matter how pretty the school is,”"

    Uhm. Making sure the school is good would prevent them from hiding in games. You know, bullying, feeling isolated, etc?

  24. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Cry of the polis…..we want you to pay attention to us!!!wwaaa!!!

     


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..


    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com

  25. Anonononomous says:

    Number 5. The guy is complaining about videogames as a way to attack his opponent, but the opponent is the one who tried to legislate the sale of games.

     

    It’s not a great connection, but it’s all that’s there.

  26. stinky42 says:

    "GP: Ironically, in 2005, while still a member of City Council, Mayor Fenty unsuccessfully tried to legislate the sale of violent video games to minors in D.C."

    I’m not really seeing the irony here could you elaborate?  Although I blame the song "Isn’t it Ironic?" for completely screwing up people’s understanding of what irony actually is.

    Courtesy of dictionary.com

    1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.
    2. Literature.
    a. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
    b. (esp. in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.
    3. Socratic irony.
    4. dramatic irony.
    5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
    6. the incongruity of this.
    7. an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
    8. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

     

    It doesn’t seem to apply.  Sorry if this is a bit of a tangent, my family consists of English teachers lawyers and autistics, I can’t help but be pedantic.

  27. Valentia X says:

    Yes. Because clearly, the lack of stimulating, safe, and cost-effective havens for youth after school hours has nothing to do with it. Nope, not at all- having a teen center where kids could hang out under adult supervision and do their homework while their parents are working would not help in the slightest.

     

    I know he said amenities but I doubt he would lump in a teen center with a grocery store. I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to decry that kids and teens seem to spend all their times sitting in their duffs but they refuse to pony up to provide a place where the kids can go. Sheesh. I grew up with a teen center and a youth center in my community (though this was on a military base overseas, which probably had something to do with it) and kids went there in droves.

  28. Sai says:

    Yes video games, lets control what kids do outside of school in their own leisure time instead of figuring out what we can do IN the schools to give them a better education.

  29. Toltendo says:

    It doesn’t feel insulting when someone says "ultra-violent", "excessive", if they are a politician. It’s the usual Escape issue to try gLoating on and after they’re elected, they forget or flip-flop on many more important issues.

  30. michaelleung says:

    I find it insulting that "excessive video game playing" is found on the same list as "lack of grocery stores". 

Comments are closed.