Once Again, Obama Refers to Video Games As Something to Set Aside for a Greater Good

June 26, 2009 -

While President Obama has never expressed a specific anti-video game sentiment that we're aware of, he does often refer to games as something to put aside in order to do something more worthy.

To wit; on Father's Day Obama urged dads to swap their kids' video games for books. In a recent speech to the American Medical Association, Obama said that children should "step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside." In early June Obama suggested that Chinese and Indian children were pulling ahead of American youth because they watch less T.V., play fewer video games and spend more time on their schoolwork.

Video games came up again yesterday as the President and Mrs. Obama spoke at a United We Serve event at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. eNews Park Forest has a transcript, including the President's comment on video games:

On Monday, we launched "United We Serve," our summer service initiative.  It's going to run all the way through our National Day of Service on September 11th.  We want to ask every American to take some time out this summer to do something for others. 

 

Parents, take your kids -- they're going to have fun, they're going to be in sports camps, they're going to be watching TV and playing video games.  Once a week, take them down -- whether it's to a soup kitchen or to volunteer on a community project -- teach them what it means to be a real citizen.  You'll find that actually the kids love it, and it's going to make a lasting impression on them. 

99 comments

Faced with White House National Security Claim, Public Interest Groups Drop Information Lawsuit on Secret Copyright Treaty

June 24, 2009 -

For nearly a year GamePolitics has been tracking ATCA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

As we have reported, ACTA deals in large part with copyright issues and is being negotiated in secret by the U.S., Japan, Canada, the EU and other nations. Details of ACTA are largely a mystery to consumers despite the fact that dozens of corporate lobbyists have been clued in to parts of the treaty, including Stevan Mitchell, VP of IP Policy for game publishers trade group the Entertainment Software Association.

Sadly, consumer interests suffered a major blow last week as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge dropped a federal lawsuit seeking to cast a little sunshine on the ACTA negotiations. The EFF explained that a recent decision by the Obama Administration to claim a national security exemption for the ACTA talks made the lawsuit unwinnable; federal judges have  little leeway to overrule such claims. The move by the Obama White House extends a similar policy put in place by the Bush Administration.

Public Knowledge Deputy Legal Director Sherwin Siy commented on the decision:

Even though we have reluctantly dropped this lawsuit, we will continue to press the U.S. Trade Representative and the Obama Administration on the ACTA issues. The issues are too far-reaching and too important to allow this important agreement to be negotiated behind closed doors.

The worry, of course, is that the United States will emerge from ACTA with a done deal that favors Big IP in the fashion of the consumer-unfriendly DMCA. Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumers Association, expressed concerns about ACTA earlier this year:

Because ECA supports the balance that must exist between the rights of copyright owners and the right of copyrighted material consumers, we do not think it wise to include any portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently being discussed...    

We are concerned that any DMCA language in ACTA may cause enormous, unforeseen negative implications in US law...

GP: As GamePolitics mentioned above, video game publishers lobbying group the ESA is privy to at least a portion of the secret ACTA negotiations while its industry's customers - video game consumers - are barred from knowing anything at all.

That makes us wonder - will the Video Game Voters Network, which is owned and operated by the ESA, commence a letter-writing campaign on behalf of its gamer-members demanding that the White House pull the curtain back on ACTA?

Somehow we doubt it.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The Entertainment Consumers Association is the parent company of GamePolitics.

Portions Via: /.

On Father's Day, Obama Urges Dads To Swap Video Games for Books

June 21, 2009 -

Repeating a theme that he frequently touched upon during his 2008 election campaign, President Barack Obama has once again referenced video games as a metaphor for academic underachievement.

In a Father's Day message published in Parade, Obama writes:

We need to set limits and expectations. We need to replace that video game with a book and make sure that homework gets done... We need to tell our sons, Those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in our house, we find glory in achievement, self-respect, and hard work.

Interestingly, the Parade feature is Obama's third mention of video games in the last 10 days. On June 11th he told an audience in Wisconsin:

The world has gotten competitive. The Chinese, the Indians, they're coming at us and they're coming at us hard, and they're hungry, and they're really buckling down.

And they watch - their kids watch a lot less TV than our kids do, play a lot fewer video games, they're in the classroom a lot longer.

Last Monday the President mentioned games during a speech to the American Medical Association in Chicago:

[Preventive care] starts with each of us taking more responsibility for our health and the health of our children. It means... raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside.

175 comments

EA'S Peter Moore Challenges Obama

June 21, 2009 -

When President Obama linked video games to a sedentary lifestyle in a speech to the American Medical Association last week, Peter Moore sensed a marketing opportunity.

On Friday the EA Sports boss posted a "challenge" to Obama on his official blog. As you might guess, there's an EA product involved:

It may be time for the President and his family to put their Wii to good use and fire up the 30-Day Challenge with EA SPORTS Active.  This is a “game” even the President may not want to “step away” from...

In fact, I know [Obama is] in pretty good shape, but I guarantee the President wouldn’t look quite so smooth walking across the White House lawn to Marine One the morning after his first session with EA SPORTS Active (especially if he does those pesky lunges)! ...

Mr. President, here is my challenge to you: Try EA SPORTS Active and I guarantee you’ll need aides saying “Yes You Can!” to finish your first workout.

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Obama Names Video Games as Health Concern in Speech to A.M.A.

June 15, 2009 -

In a speech to the American Medical Association in Chicago today, President Obama mentioned video games as a factor in unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles.

As reported by the New York Times, Obama addressed the AMA as part of his drive to build support for sweeping healthcare reform. The Wall Street Journal's Health blog has the full text of the President's remarks. Here's what he said about video games:

The second step that we can all agree on is to invest more in preventive care so that we can avoid illness and disease in the first place. That starts with each of us taking more responsibility for our health and the health of our children. It means quitting smoking, going in for that mammogram or colon cancer screening. It means going for a run or hitting the gym, and raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside.

In other speeches, Obama has frequently linked video games to academic underachievement.

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XBL Indie Game Turns Obama Into Side-Scrolling Scrapper

June 15, 2009 -

A recently-released Xbox Live Community Game (MS recently announced that these will soon be called Indie Games) features President Obama as a side-scrolling, 2-D brawler.

Angry Barry is available for 400 points on Xbox Live. We didn't spring for the game although we did check out the free demo.

Hillary Clinton makes an appearance in the game and the screen shot at left appears to feature Sarah Palin. From the game's XBL page:

Angry Barry is a sidescrolling, political parody, 1-2 player 2D beat 'em up in the tradition of many classic arcade games. Take control of Barry as he tries to take over the Presidency of the United States!

Obama: Chinese & Indians Kids Play Fewer Video Games, "Coming At Us Hard"

June 12, 2009 -

Returning to a theme that he touched upon often during the 2008 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama told the audience at a town hall meeting in Wisconsin that American kids spend too much time playing video games and watching television.

But Obama added a new wrinkle to yesterday's remarks, linking them to the United States' ability to compete in the global marketplace:

Even with the good schools, we've got to pick up the pace, because the world has gotten competitive. The Chinese, the Indians, they're coming at us and they're coming at us hard, and they're hungry, and they're really buckling down.

And they watch - their kids watch a lot less TV than our kids do, play a lot fewer video games, they're in the classroom a lot longer.

So here's the bottom line. We've got to improve, we've got to step up our game. While the average public school is actually doing a reasonably good job... we are falling behind when it comes to math; our kids are falling behind when it comes to science...

We used to be head and shoulders above other countries when it came to education. We aren't anymore. We're sort of in the middle of the pack now among wealthy, advanced, industrialised countries.

Via: IANS

101 comments

Obama Advisor To Make Second Life Appearance

June 8, 2009 -

Kevin Werbach, who served on the FCC segment of the Obama transition team, remains with the Administration as a part-time advisor on broadband issues.

Over at New World Notes, Wagner James Au reports that Werbach, who is a veteran of the Second Life metaverse, will make an SL appearance later this week:

Werbach will be back in-world this Wednesday at 1pm Pacific to appear on the Metanomics show, for an extremely apropos topic: "The Age of Obama: Virtual Worlds, Open Government, and Policy"...

 

Kevin tells me he can't discuss the particular policy advice he gave the Administration about virtual worlds, but I suspect he'll provide some great insider perspectives on how they're being shaped. 

Werbach and his Second Life avatar appear at left.

8 comments

How Obama's SCOTUS Choice Might Affect Video Games

May 4, 2009 -

With the pending retirement of Justice David Souter from the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama will have the opportunity to name a replacement.

His choice could have a major impact on the constitutional issues relating to video games, especially if California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decides to ask SCOTUS to consider February's 9th Circuit Court ruling that his state's 2005 video game law is unconstitutional. That decision from Schwarzenegger will come later this month.

Among names being floated for Souter's seat are Gov. Jennifer Granholm (left) of Michigan and 7th Circuit Court Judge Diane Pamela Wood (right). Both have a track record with video game issues.

As Governor, Granholm signed into law a 2005 video game blocking minors from purchasing violent games. The video game industry filed suit and the measure was ruled unconstitutional later that year by a U.S. District Court judge.

For her part, Judge Wood has a rather different history with games. In 2001 she was part of a three-judge Circuit Court panel which overturned an Indianapolis law that sought to limit the access of minors to violent arcade games. That case, AAMA v. Kendrick was the first of what has become an uninterrupted string of court victories in such cases for the video game industry.

Whether Obama appoints Wood, Granholm or another choice, this could be the year that the constitutionality of restricting violent video game sales makes it to the Supreme Court. The possibilities become even more interesting given conservative Justice Antonin Scalia's 2008 comment that such restrictions might pass constitutional muster.

DOCUMENT DUMP: AAMA v. Kendrick

36 comments

ESA Cheers as Obama Administration Spanks Canada

April 30, 2009 -

Those pesky Canadians have finally pushed the U.S. Government to the brink.

If the Bushies were still in power we might now be glued to CNN, watching the 82nd Airborne para-dropping into Ottawa. But as it is, the Obama administration has settled for delivering a nasty slap via the office of U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk (left).

The issue is copyright protection and the USTR, a cabinet-level post, has been making unpleasant noises in Canada's direction for several years. Today Kirk dropped the hammer, placing Canada on the "Priority Watch List" along with China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, and Venezuela. From the USTR report:

Canada is being elevated to the Priority Watch List for the first time, reflecting increasing concern about the continuing need for copyright reform, as well as continuing concern about weak border enforcement.

The Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of U.S. video game publishers, was quick to applaud the action in a press release. No surprise there, as the ESA has been pushing hard in recent years for Canada to outlaw mod chips and adopt its own version of the consumer-unfriendly Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

In fact, with DMCA-like legislation an issue that Canada's Parliament will soon be considering, a cynic might be forgiven for thinking that the USTR's action was timed for its persuasive value as much as anything else.

Of today's announcement, ESA CEO Michael Gallagher commented:

Putting Canada on the ‘Priority Watch List’ is a signal of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthening global intellectual property protection, and its intent to address this issue firmly with the Canadian government. Canada’s weak laws and enforcement practices foster game piracy in the Canadian market and pave the way for unlawful imports into the U.S.

So what does the ESA want from Canada? They have a laundry list:

  • Enact legislation outlawing game circumvention devices, such as “mod chips” and “game copiers,” in line with Canada’s international treaty obligations
  • Create adequate legal incentives for internet service providers (ISPs) to work with copyright owners in combating online piracy
  • Provide Customs officials with adequate authority to make ex officio seizures of counterfeit and pirate product at the border; and,
  • Provide adequate resources to anti-piracy enforcement efforts and make prosecution of intellectual property crimes a high priority.

Game Character Posters, Obama-style

April 22, 2009 -

Games Radar has served up a series of printable posters depicting familiar game characters in the style of the now-famous Obama campaign theme created by visual artist Shepard Fairey.

The characters span a broad range of games, including:

  • Tomb Raider
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Katamari Damacy
  • Half-Life
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Thanks to: Sharp-eyed GamePolitics correspondent Andrew Eisen...

8 comments

Obama Administration Rolls Back Secrecy on Copyright Treaty

April 9, 2009 -

On several recent occasions, GamePolitics has reported on ACTA, the international copyright treaty being negotiated in secret by various governments, including the United States.

Here in the U.S., IP rights holders - including the video game industry - have been granted access to information concerning ACTA negotiations. John Q. Public has been shut out, however.

But the Obama administration's promised commitment to open government appears to be pulling back the curtain on ACTA, at least a bit.

IDG reports that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has released a six-page summary of ACTA negotiations, which have been going on behind the scenes since 2006. Gigi Sohn, President of Consumer rights group Public Knowledge praised the info release:

The dissemination of the six-page summary will help to some degree to clarify what is being discussed. At the same time, however, this release can only be seen as a first step forward. It would have been helpful had the USTR elaborated more clearly the goals the United States wants to pursue in the treaty and what proposals our government has made, particularly in the area of intellectual property rights in a digital environment.

7 comments

Nintendo's Reggie: Obama Too Busy To Worry About Video Games

April 1, 2009 -

Issues such as the recession, healthcare and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to keep President Barack Obama's attention away from video games, said Reggie Fils-Aime (left).

The Nintendo of America chief also believes that the video game industry is in a better position politically than it has been in the past.

Fils-Aime made his comments during a wide-ranging interview with GameDaily:

We have the first sitting president with a multiple gaming household, between the Wii and the DS. I believe that our president has more pressing issues to deal with, from the economy to the military conflicts.

 

Certainly, as an industry, we've met with representatives of Congress and other parts of our government. What they see is an industry that is mainstream, is creating jobs and is creating vibrant forms of entertainment. Those are all positive things for this country. So we are in a more favorable legislative environment compared to five or six years ago.

13 comments

Barack Obama Portrayed in Quirky Japanese Super Mario Scene

March 31, 2009 -

We don't know the origin of this video other than to point out the obvious: that it's from a Japanese television show, features a comic Super Mario scene using real actors, and has an improbable cameo appearance by a faux Barack Obama.

Still, it's pretty cool. Be sure to watch it all the way through.

The link was circulated by Wendu Xu on Twitter.

Via: Kotaku

12 comments

Obama & Kids Call Astronauts, Want to Know: Can You Play Video Games in Space?

March 24, 2009 -

Video games came up when President Obama made a long-distance phone call to the International Space Station this morning.

As reported by ABC News, Obama, some members of Congress and a group of Washington, D.C. school kids spent 28 minutes videoconferencing with the crew of the shuttle Discovery.

The Prez was friendly and conversational with the astronauts. When it came time for some questions from the students, the first one was, "Can you play video games in space?"

Obama dutifully relayed the question to the crew. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer that came back was yes, you can play video games in space.

In fact, one of the astronauts (we're not clear as to which one) replied:

We can, in fact. And in fact a few years ago when I was up here for six months I had a video game that I used to play in my spare time. Unfortunately, we don't have much spare time.

 

So we can, we have a lot of laptop computers. But for the most part we stay real busy doing real work.

32 comments

Stimulus Money Convinces New York to Nix Digital Download Tax

March 11, 2009 -

Gamers who live in the state of New York are already experiencing a benefit from President Obama's recently-passed stimulus package.

CNN reports that New York has scrapped a plan to tax digital downloads such as iTunes music and video game DLC.

Instead, Gov. David Paterson and New York legislators will utilize $1.3 billion in stimulus money to help balance the state budget.

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Obama on the Atari 2600?

March 10, 2009 -

I thought I knew my classic games pretty well, but somehow I'm drawing a blank on this particular Atari 2600 cartridge.

In fact, Technabob has uncovered an entire series of parody 2600 carts. Most aren't political, but they are definitely worth a look - and a laugh.

Via: Examiner.com

4 comments

Obama Goes Questing in MMORPG

March 5, 2009 -

Clearly, there are some hardcore Barack Obama fans among the beta testers of NCsoft's upcoming MMORPG Aion: The Tower of Eternity.

Massively brought the video at left to our attention, in which some Aion players have employed the game's robust character creation utility to get the Prez into the action:

NCsoft really didn't have this in mind when creating the game's lore, but some rather inventive beta testers have created something which show off just how good Aion's character creation is. The end result is a player-created video that depicts Obama in ways his publicity people never anticipated, as an Elyos 'kicking ass' and saving trees on the road to ascension as a Daeva... Yes, this may piss off a few people -- namely the POTUS -- but it's all in good fun.

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Obama Stimulus Rendered in Retro Math Game Style

March 4, 2009 -

2P Start takes note of President Obama's recently-passed stimulus package by invoking the graphic style of the old Number Munchers game (perhaps some GP readers played it in school).

The artist explains:

I kind of get the feeling this comic might appeal more to The Oregon Trail crowd... Number Munchers was another early educational PC game that a lot of us probably played in elementary school...

 

In any event, we’re not trying to spark a political debate here, it’s just that $787 billion is a staggering number, even for an old pro like Muncher!

10 comments

Another Obama Cabinet Nominee Brings Video Game Legislation Baggage

March 1, 2009 -

ABC News reports that President Barack Obama has turned to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) to fill the vacant cabinet post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

If confirmed, Sebelius will become the third member of the Obama cabinet with past ties to video game legislation. The others are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Commerce nominee Gary Locke.

As Governor in 2006, Sebelius pushed an unsuccessful attempt to legislate video games, saying at the time, "Video games and music lyrics promote violence..."

Ironically, in 2008 it was revealed that her son created a Grand Theft Auto-like board game and was marketing it by mail order from the Governor's official residence. At the time, Gov. Sebelius commented that she was proud of her son's creativity.

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Obama's Commerce Nominee Signed 2003 Video Game Bill Into Law

February 27, 2009 -

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke (D), President Barack Obama's latest choice for Commerce Secretary, carries a bit of video game baggage into his new position.

In 2003, while serving as Governor, Locke signed into law the nation's first statewide violent video game legislation. The measure, which was proposed by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D), barred minors from purchasing games in which the player kills or injures "a human form who is depicted, by dress or other recognizable symbols, as a public law enforcement officer."

The video game industry filed suit, of course (VDSA vs. Maleng). In July, 2004, a federal court struck down the Washington law. In ruling the statute unconstitutional, U.S. District Court Judge Lasnik wrote:

The games at issue...[have] story lines, detailed artwork, original scores, and a complex narrative which evolves as the player makes choices and gains experiences. All of the games provided to the Court for review are expressive and qualify as speech for purposes of the First Amendment...

 

[The law] failed to give a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, so that he may act accordingly... Would a game built around The Simpsons or Looney Tunes characters be 'realistic' enough to trigger the Act?... Do the Roman centurions of Age of Empires, the enemy officers depicted in Splinter Cell, or the conquering forces of Freedom Fighters qualify as ‘public law enforcement officers'?

GP: Although it's unlikely that Locke, if confirmed, will have much to do with video game issues as Secretary of Commerce, it is an interesting historical footnote, nonetheless.

9 comments

It's Raining Obama Bucks in Second Life

February 27, 2009 -

Steve Nelson, who has created fascinating visualizations which combine real-world political data with the Second Life metaverse, is at it again.

On his Clear Night Sky blog, Nelson has posted a video which mashes up SL and the 2010 federal budget:

To commemorate the 2010 federal budget... I have installed a new feature at the Capitol Hill in Second Life.

Using the APIs available from USASpending.gov, the Show Me the Money! piggy bank will shower $100 bills down on the Capitol Hill legislative chamber. Each bill has the name of one of the top 50 recipients of government funding during 1Q 2009. The size of the bill is proportionate to the amount of money received, at a scale of $1billion = 1 Second Life meter.

1 comment

Obama Girl Plays Wii Sports with a Political Flair

February 26, 2009 -

From Barely Political comes a new Obama Girl video.

This time around, Obama Girl plays Wii Sports with the likes of the Prez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Dubya and Sarah Palin.

8 comments

In First Major Address to Congress, Obama Once Again Links Video Games to Academic Underachievement

February 25, 2009 -

As GamePolitics noted on several occasions, using video games as a metaphor for academic underachievement was a staple of Barack Obama's presidential campaign speeches.

The Prez rolled out the same language last night in his first address to a joint session of Congress. Speaking about his administration's approach to education, Obama said:

These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, and read to their child. I speak to you not just as a president, but as a father when I say that responsibility for our children's education must begin at home.

A CNN poll reports that 65% of respondents gave the President favorable marks for the speech. NPR has a full transcript of the President's remarks.

Report: Obama Plays BrickBreaker on Mobile Phone

February 22, 2009 -

From the Consider the Source Dept:

Gossip mag The Star reports that President Barack Obama indulges in mobile phone gaming apps:

During his first days in office, President Obama laid down the law — Hands off my BlackBerry! But his insistence on keeping it wasn't just because he wanted to stay in touch with family and friends. Turns out the Prez is hooked on playing the mobile game BrickBreaker!

"He plays to unwind," a confidante reveals. "Every night before bed, he gives it a few minutes."

And he's hardly all thumbs.

"His high score is around 15,000!"

Via: GameCulture

8 comments

Apple Blocks Obama Trampoline iPhone Game

February 9, 2009 -

Apple, it appears, takes a rather dim view of political satire - at least where iPhone apps are concerned.

TechCrunch reports that Apple has nixed a seemingly harmless game in which depictions of President Barack Obama and other U.S. political figures jump on a virtual trampoline.

The news comes on the heels of Apple's recent rejection of another would-be iPhone game which parodies December's hurling of a shoe at then-President Bush. That well-known incident was widely satirized via online Flash games.

TechCrunch questions Apple's censorship of Obama Trampoline:

Developer Swamiware was surprised to see its latest iPhone app rejected by Apple, and so are we. The application was a harmless game that let you select a known U.S. politician (both republicans and democrats) and have him/her jump a virtual trampoline...

 

Does the Obama Trampoline app actually ridicule public figures? It’s not obscene or pornographic of nature, so why was it deemed either offensive or defamatory?

3 comments

Universal Broadband Funding Axed from Obama Stimulus Package

February 9, 2009 -

A $2 billion allocation intended to push universal broadband service into rural areas of the United States has been cut from President Obama's economic stimulus package, according to Gizmodo:

Those jokers down in Washington finally compromised on the economic stimulus bill, with the Republican minority succeeding in cutting out huge swathes of spending. Among the casualties is the $2 billion for universal broadband...

 

Sorry, "real America," you're gonna keep getting screwed.

GP: Support for the Obama stimulus package is largely split along party lines. However you feel about the stimulus bill, universal broadband would be a big win for gamers in areas with poor quality Internet access.

Report: Obama as DLC for Street Fighter Online

February 5, 2009 -

Kotaku reports that Japanese publisher Daletto is offering what appears to be a Barack Obama figure as downloadable content for its Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation, a PC game.

The Obama figure and other DLC characters are available as part of a Valentine's Day update.

10 comments

Obama's Exclusive Super Bowl Party Guest List Includes Congressional Game Biz Critics

February 1, 2009 -

Between the food, the football, the commercials and the schmoozing, it's unlikely that the topic of video game regulation will come up at President Barack Obama's White House Super Bowl party this evening.

But if it does, at least two of the Congressional types on his small, bipartisan guest list have some background on the issue.

In December, 2007 Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stood with Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and Family as Walsh zinged the video game industry for what he referred as "an ominous backslide."

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who is known for almost never missing a vote, proposed a 2005 Congressional resolution directing the FTC to investigate the Hot Coffee scandal. In 2006 he sponsored the  Video Game Decency Act, a piece of legislation which ultimately failed to pass.

Perhaps more interesting than the (admittedly unlikely) video game angle is trying to decipher the formula used by the Prez in determining his guest list:

  • 11 Democrats, 4 Republicans
  • 5 from Pennsylvania (Steelers?)
  • 2 from Arizona (Cardinals?)
  • 1 from Illinois (Obama's old Senate partner)
  • 1 each from Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, DC, Alabama, Connecticut and New Hampshire

Obama Simulators for PC

January 29, 2009 -

President Barack Obama's status as a pop icon seems to have breathed new life into the niche market for political strategy games.

GamePolitics has previously covered Commander in Chief: Geo-Political Simulator 2009 and CNN now has a video report on the game.

We've also stumbled across Oval Office from Zero G. Beyond its marketing blurb, we don't yet have much info on the $19.99 PC game:

Can you run the country better than the people in charge? Oval Office is the ultimate political strategy and simulation game! As president, you will have to balance the budget, keep taxes in check, make snap judgments, and much more.

 

Prefer a green paradise, or socialist utopia? Control crime without destroying civil liberties? These are only some of the tough issues you will face. But the biggest question of all is can you win re-election? It's not as easy as it sounds in the Oval Office!

GP: I've been playing a bit of Commander in Chief recently. It's fun, but fairly complex. The game has garnered a couple of glowing user reviews on GameSpot.

9 comments

 
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Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:

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NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
 

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