where the 2008 presidential hopefuls stand on video game issues

WoW's Top Political Moments

December 28, 2008 -

If you thought that World of Warcraft was apolitical, think again.

WoW Insider recalls the popular MMO's top political moments of 2008:

  • The New Year's Day Ron Paul campaign rally (covered in person by GP)
  • Gay & lesbian WoW guilds
  • In-game issues of sexism and racism
  • Obama gains presidential achievement
  • WoW-themed parody of Iraqi tossing shoe at President Bush (covered on GP)
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GamePolitics: Top 15 of 2008

December 19, 2008 -

2008's Game Over is just around the corner and that means it's time to look back at the top gaming stories of the past twelve months.

With so much happening in 2008, it wasn't easy to trim the list down to just 15 stories. But we managed, so, without further ado:

15. No Taxation Without Representation: Several states looked into levying "sin taxes" against the purchase of video games and consoles in 2008. Such measures were proposed by legislators in Wisconsin and New Mexico, but ultimately failed to pass. In New York, Gov. David Paterson's 2009 budget proposal would add a sales tax to digitally-delivered content, including DLC. On the other side of the coin, an increasing number of states are offering tax breaks as an incentive to lure game developers to set up shop.

14. War. Huh. What is Good For? As the US Army made increasing use of its popular America's Army recruiting game, anti-war protesters marched at a number of Army-sponsored gaming event around the country. Protesters also gathered outside Ubisoft's San Francisco offices to protest the console version released by Ubi a couple of years back. In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union charged that the Defense Department's use of the game violates United Nations protocols which bar the recruitment of children into military service.

13. Defectors! The Entertainment Software Association began the year with 28 member companies. Following a number of defection by companies both large (Activision, LucasArts) and small (Crave, NCsoft), it will finish the year with, at most, 21. The economy certainly had something to do with it, but some reports indicated dissatisfaction with new ESA boss Mike Gallagher.

12. Spore Triumph Turns to Controversy: It was supposed to be legendary game designer Will Wright's crowning achievement, but Spore will be remembered more for install limits and loading unwanted Securom DRM on player's computers than for its game play. Yes, EA eventually backed off on some of the security measures but not before several class-action suits were filed by consumers. The game's DRM issues fueled a debate about piracy that is still raging.

11. ESRB and Retailers Earn High Marks: The Federal Trade Commission released the results of its annual secret shopper study and the video game industry did itself proud. According to the FTC, retailers properly enforced M ratings 80% of the time, with GameStop earning an eye-popping 94% grade. Clearly, the ESRB is getting the word out to parents and retailers are doing a better job of training their clerks to enforce game ratings. The ESRB also expanded its parental outreach program with a very cool ratings widget and continued wooing political figures with the lure of free advertising via ESRB-funded public service announcements.

10. Rise of the Game Consumer Movement: The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) continued to expand its representation of issues important to gamers by addressing DRM, Net Neutrality and Universal Broadband, among other concerns. Gamers showed themselves to be a very powerful grassroots force, using the power of the Net to mobilize against Spore's DRM and respond to author Cooper Lawrence, who blithely - and incorrectly - trashed Mass Effect on Fox News.

9. In the Eye of the Beholder: Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute in upstate New York invited Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal to present his controversial Virtual Jihadi game exhibit and then booted him from campus when the school's Republican Club protested. Forced to use a private art gallery in neighboring Troy, Bilal again found himself shut down when Republican city officials drummed up a long-ignored building code violation. Bilal eventually returned to Chicago where he teaches art. The ACLU sued city officials in federal court.

8. If You Can Make Video Game Law There, You Can Make it Anywhere: Led by Republican State Sen. Andrew Lanza, New York passed a video game bill in 2008 and Gov. David Paterson (D) signed it into law. However, the law, which takes effect in 2010 is essentially a showpiece and lacks teeth. Game sales will not be restricted in any way. How can you be sure? Easy: the video game industry did not file its usual constitutional challenge.  See the Rest of the List After the Jump...

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In Wake of Election, ESA Boss Sees Historic Time for Game Community

November 21, 2008 -

In an op-ed published at 1up, Michael Gallagher, CEO of game publishers trade group the Entertainment Software Association, frames the recent presidential election as "a historic time for America and the computer and video game community."

Recapping many of the campaign-related game developments (Obama's XBL ads, McCain's Pork Invaders game), Gallagher writes:

The campaign produced a milestone of its own in the use of our technologies to engage and communicate with voters.

 

 For the first time, American gamers and the entertainment software industry played an active role in the political process...

With the U.S. recession deepening, Gallagher also cites the benefits that the game industry provides to the U.S. economy and lays out the ESAS's agenda going forward:

  • working closely with all levels of government
  • preserving the First Amendment rights of gamers
  • supporting parental education efforts around video game ratings
  • protecting our industry's intellectual property
  • leveraging broadband to increase the connected experience
  • working to improve our industry's contributions to the economy
  • supporting state-level tax incentive legislation
     

Gallagher concludes with:

We look forward to working with the Obama administration, the new Congress and state leaders around the country and ensuring that America's governments recognize the positive effects of the computer and video game industry.

UPDATE: For more of Gallagher's thoughts, see GameStop's interview.

Supporter Looks Back at the Success of Obama's ARG

November 18, 2008 -

Gene Koo of TechPresident describes his experience with the reality game play of campaign site/ARG My.BarackObama.com:

It featured minimal graphics, no sound effects, and deeply flawed gameplay. Yet one of the most important game titles of 2008 was played by thousands and helped change the face of American politics...

MyBO awarded Obama supporters with points for taking real-world actions that would likely help the candidate win the primaries and the general election: making phone calls to voters, hosting gatherings, and donating money... MyBO was the first serious ARG deployed by a political campaign...

 

For most supporters, the points likely functioned as a curiosity. Still, the point system helped signal what kinds of activities really mattered, and it probably had something to do with the over 200,000 events hosted and 27,000 groups created on MyBO – an impressive number even after you discount some set of bogus ones put on to game the system...

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One We Missed: Steal This Election Game

November 14, 2008 -

Although GamePolitics tracked numerous election-themed games during the presidential campaign, we just stumbled across one of more unique and interesting ones.

Steal This Election is slick look at how to use dirty tricks to win the White House. The game has more attitude and atmosphere than most of the other offerings we've seen, which are generally variations on martial arts, FPS or whack-a-mole.

Our only gripe is that the online game is broken. GP's candidate (a Sarah Palin knockoff) won with 182% of the vote. Also, there doesn't seem to be much replayability. No matter which candidate you choose, the dirty tricks are the same. It made sense in the game for my Palinesque character to paint Obama as a terrorist, since that was, unfortunately, an actual theme in the election. It made less sense to have the same tactic available for the Obama-like character to use against the game's faux McCain.

Despite these rather significant flaws, Steal This Election is worth a look if political games float your boat. Let's hope that they fix the game mechanics by the time November, 2012 rolls around.

GP: Okay, that's it. No more election games. Probably...

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Ian Bogost Talks Games and Politics at Harvard

November 14, 2008 -

Gene Koo of Valuable Games live-blogs an appearance by serious games guru Ian Bogost (left) at a Harvard study group led by Nicco Mele:

Video games [serve] as a centrifying values issue, making it very cheap [for politicians] to decry video games. Ian mentions the ECA (Entertainment Consumers Association), and the idea of a union of video game players, or a common identity among gamers, “weirds” him out.

Gamer demographics — if there are political games, whom will they reach?: There’s a lot of bad data, but… see the Entertainment Software Association. The better question is to break them down by style/type. Ian’s own games — TSA game since 2006 has approached 50M plays. (< $10K to build).

An Obama game could really sell. Who wouldn’t buy an Obama game? Well...

So what about an abortion game that attempts to help each side understand the perspective of the other side of the debate? ...

Nicco mentions that the [Howard] Dean [2004] campaign’s game did inspire people to donate, get involved. Ian wonders if this idea will “peak” (novelty factor).

The problem is that the vast majority of these [political] games are meaningless tripe. See Ian’s discussion of Pork Invaders, in the Gamasutra article, and also the contrast with Tax Invaders as a rhetorical device.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

Gamers Should Not Be Leery of Obama, Says Game Writer

November 13, 2008 -

Earlier this week GamePolitics covered a New York Times story which reported that some gamers were leery of how Barack Obama's presidency might affect their pastime.

Writing for fidgit, longtime game journo Tom Chick (left) takes issue with the NYT (okay by me), but takes a cheap shot at GamePolitics in the process (hey, Tom Chick, don't shoot the messenger):

You know it's been a slow news day at the New York Times when they assemble a couple of scant details about the appearance of videogames in the Presidential campaign under the headline "Some Video Gamers Leery of Obama's Views"...

 

In addition to citing the inveterate cryers of "Wolf!" over at GamePolitics.com, they base their story on a user comment on 1up.com... Could this be because the post makes more sense than either the New York Times story or the 1up story it's commenting on?

As a scholar and college teacher [who] writes about games, I don't see this as any kind of whipping post that's part of Obama's policy building... The only way games will come up as a major part of any presidency anytime soon is just as it has in the past: when it's a convenient scapegoat.

However, videogames are already a factor in Obama's presidency. Like Bill Clinton before him, Barack Obama is in touch with a whole new generation of voters, and therefore American culture... While Barack Obama may not be as big a dork as us videogame players, he deserves credit for being aware that we're out here. We should be glad, not leery.

GP: Inveterate cryers of "Wolf!"???

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Obama Team Kicked Back with Rock Band

November 11, 2008 -

With some gamers expressing concern about President-elect Barack Obama's position on video games, it's somehow reassuring to learn that campaign staffers partook of group Rock Band sessions during their down time.

That word comes by way of a look back on Obama's winning strategy by the New Yorker:

Like many campaign teams, Obama’s was young. The communications department –made up mostly of guys in their twenties and thirties — had a fraternity-house quality. On weekends, they would often drink beer together and play the video game “Rock Band” at a group house in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

 

They had been brought up in Democratic politics in the previous two decades with an understanding that the people who worked for Bill and Hillary Clinton were the best operatives in Washington, especially when it came to dealing with the media. They had watched “The War Room,” the documentary about the 1992 Clinton campaign, which featured strategists like James Carville and George Stephanopoulos manically responding to every negative story and trying to win every news cycle.

Via: MTV Multiplayer

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New York Times: Some Gamers Leery of Obama

November 10, 2008 -

Despite those well-publicized Barack Obama ads on Xbox Live, some gamers remain leery of the President-elect's views on video games, according to the New York Times.

The NYT's Brian Stelter writes:

Some players say they are concerned about other interruptions to their games that they consider more serious. Blog posts scoring Mr. Obama’s positions on video games have received hundreds of comments, with some readers worrying that his admonitions during the campaign to “put the video games away” signaled new regulations or restrictions on the industry...

A Web site called GamePolitics, established by a pro-gaming consumer advocacy group, pointed out in February that Mr. Obama had given campaign speeches in which games were used as a metaphor for underachievement.

Mr. Obama’s answers to a questionnaire by the nonprofit group Common Sense Media last year echoed the theme. He indicated that he supported parental controls for both television and video games and called on the video game industry to “give parents better information” and improve the voluntary ratings system. “If the industry fails to act, then my administration would,” he wrote.

GP: Seeing GamePolitics cited in the NYT is sweet, even if they did forget to include a link.

UPDATE: The fiery Obama image at left is part of DLC released for Mercenaries 2 by Pandemic Studios.

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Last Call for Election 2008 Flash Games includes Joe the Plumber: Layin' Pipe

November 8, 2008 -

GamePolitics covered so many election-themed Flash games during the run-up to November 4th that we actually lost count.

Surprisingly, however, a roundup on Amazon.com's Game Room Blog turns up a few that we missed. For the sake of completeness, here they are, along with Amazon's description:

  • Joe The Plumber: Layin' Pipe  ...use your brainteasing abilities to beat the flush in this escalating series of puzzles that are reminiscent of the hacking mini-games of BioShock.
  • Below The Beltway  ...this boxing game [featuring the red and blue tickets]... pulls no punches.
  • Campaign: General Election Edition ...A turn-based strategy game where players choose their candidate and support staff members--each with different strengths, weaknesses and special moves... Singleplayer and multiplayer...
  • AirMILF ...Thanks for the memories Governor [Palin]
     
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Obama Saluted in Crazy Mini Golf for Wii

November 7, 2008 -

Game makers have taken to Barack Obama in a big way.

The president-elect has already made appearances in a Saints Row 2 trailer and as DLC in Mercenaries 3.

Wii title Kidz Sports Crazy Mini Golf, launched this week by Data Design, now has a video up featuring Obama scoring some sweet holes-in-one while characters John McCain (at least, I'm guessing that's supposed to be McCain) and Sarah Palin look on in frustration.

Thanks to: GP correspondent Andrew Eisen for the tip!

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Super Obama World: Play the Game, Buy the Shirt

November 6, 2008 -

If the Obama honeymoon isn't over for you yet, check out Super Obama World.

For now you can play an Alaska level or head to the Republican National Convention. But more levels are promised, including Illinois, Arizona and Washington, D.C.

If you like the very 8-bit looking online platformer, they've got merch you can buy as well.

Via: Kotaku

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Election Night in Second Life

November 6, 2008 -

While GP was glued to old school CNN for news of this year's presidential voting, Bixyl Shuftan recaps what election night was like in the Second Life metaverse for the Second Life Newspaper:

Princess Ivory had this to say, “Do you all realize that this is a historic election not just for the US, but for SL? 4 years ago SL wasn't as popular. In the past, we would gather with our neighbors and family in the living room and watch the election results on television. Now we sit and watch our avatars sit together, and listen to the BBC broadcast from another window. Incredible..."

Checking the Obama HQ, they had set up some bright glow-balls, bathing the interior of the building in light. And with victory declared, many were dancing away...

Then a couple came in, telling everyone they had just been banned from the Straight Talk Cafe, saying they ran through the place naked...

GP: Only in SL...

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God of War Designer Jubilant Over Obama Win

November 6, 2008 -

David Jaffe, famed designer of the God of War series, is ecstatic over Barack Obama's victory in Tuesday's presidential election.

As GP sister-site GameCulture reports, Jaffe's morning-after blog is typically candid: 

...wow...

 

...bleeping thank you America!

 

Now let's just hope Obama can really do what he says and bring ALL OF US together...Democrats, Independents, AND Republicans!

 

What an amazing night!

 

Bleep, I'd hug Bill O'Reilly at this point!

 

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Obama's Supreme Court Short List Includes Game Legislating Michigan Guv

November 5, 2008 -

With the constitutional battle over California's 2005 video game law apparently heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, potential appointments to the Court by President-elect Barack Obama take on added significance to gamers.

While there are no current SCOTUS vacancies, NPR's Nina Totenberg reports that, given the age of the current justices, one or more slots are likely to open up during Obama's presidency.

Among potential Obama appointees, Totenberg drops the name of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Veteran GamePolitics readers will recall that Granholm was the driving force behind Michigan's 2005 violent video game law, later ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court judge. Michigan was compelled to pay the video game industry's legal fees in that case to the tune of $182,349.

In 2006 Granholm also joined other Michigan politicians in calling for a boycott of Eidos' controversial cops-and-robbers shooter 25-to-Life.

The appointment of Granholm could influence any Supreme Court consideration of laws related to video games. Current Justice Antonin Scalia has previously commented that video game restrictions might be constitutional.

Totenberg also notes that Hillary Clinton, whose anti-game resume far exceeds that of Granholm, has been mentioned as a possible justice. However, Totenberg concludes that a Clinton appointment would be seen as far too political for the Supreme Court.

Obama, of course, is an expert on constitutional law. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he writes:

The Constitution envisions a road map by which we marry passion to reason — the ideal of individual freedom to the demands of community. And the amazing thing is that it has worked.

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Congressional Races: Being a Video Game Critic Doesn't Hurt a Candidate

November 5, 2008 -

For Election Day GamePolitics posted a watch list of congressional races in which the candidates had some connection to the video game scene.

Most of the incumbent senators and representatives on this list are (or have been) game critics and all of them won re-election. Those results seem to indicate that the video game issue lacks political significance among voters at the national level, at least for now.

Here are the results of those races:

U.S. Senate:

Roger Wicker (R-MS) - The video game critic (he currently has game ratings legislation in the Senate) won handily with 55% of the vote.

Ted Stevens (R-AK) - Although the race hasn't been called yet, amazingly, the corrupt, tech-challenged Stevens (he's the famous "series of tubes" guy) leads his challenger by 3,500 votes. Voters in red state Alaska may be thinking that Stevens will be forced to resign when he trades his pin-striped suit for a striped suit of another kind. When that happens the guv (let's see, what's her name again?) will appoint a Republican replacement.

Mark Warner - the tech-savvy Warner (he famously made a campaign stop in Second Life) smoked his opponent with 64% of the vote.

U.S. House of Representatives:

Lee Terry (R-NE) The co-author of the House version of the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act won re-election with 52% of the vote. 

Jim Matheson (D-UT) The co-author (with Lee Terry) of the House version of the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act won re-election with 63% of the vote.

Fred Upton (R-MI) Hot Coffee critic and sponsor of the 2006 Video Game Decency Act won re-election with 59% of the vote. He can thus expect a continued stream of Urgent! e-mails from disbarred anti-game attorney Jack Thompson.

Betty McCollum (D-MN) Game industry critic and supporter of Dr. David Walsh and the National Institute on Media & the Family won re-election handily with 69% of the vote.

Cliff Stearns (R-FL) Game industry critic and co-sponsor of the 2006 Truth in Video Games Rating Act won re-election easily with 61% of the vote.

Joe Baca (D-CA) Despite being named one the 10 Worst Members of Congress by Esquire magazine, serial video game legislator Baca cruised to re-election with 66% of the vote.

Ron Paul (R-TX) Running unopposed, Paul will return to Congress. Will he make a bid for president again in 2012? Do the inhabitants of Azeroth still love him? Only time will tell.

Peter Myers: We don't have the exact figures, but we know that the Green Party candidate received less than 5% of the vote.

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Top 20 Video Game Moments from Presidential Campaign

November 5, 2008 -

DasGamer has an entertaining feature on what they bill as the The Top 20 Video Game Moments In The 2008 Presidential Election.

Highlights include:

  • the Ron Paul WoW march
  • Barack Obama's XBL ads
  • John McCain's Pork Invaders Facebook game
  • the Sarah Palin All Your Base video
  • a list of Game Biz contributions to candidates
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McCain Wins! (...in Little Big Planet)

November 5, 2008 -

Things turn out better for Republican John McCain in this user-created level from PlayStation 3 smash Little Big Planet.

Of course, you could play this level so that Obama wins, too. 53% of American voters would probably play that way, based on yesterday's popular vote.

The level was designed by Richard Windsor of gaming site Aeropause.

Via: Destructoid

Stewart & Colbert: Don't Play Super Mario Bros. - Vote!

November 4, 2008 -

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report say it all...

Via: GoNintendo

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Xbox Live is a Blue State

November 4, 2008 -

The official Xbox color may be green, but when it comes to politics, online gaming venue Xbox Live is clearly a blue state.

According to a Microsoft rep, a final pre-election poll taken over the weekend shows Democrat Barack Obama with a commanding lead over Republican John McCain among XBL gamers. Here are those numbers:

  • Obama 53%
  • McCain 33%
  • Undecided 14%

In a late September XBL poll, Obama led 43-31%. The new data seems to suggest that some XBL users who were undecided or who supported other candidates in the earlier poll have largely shifted to Obama.

As Xbox Live project manager Ben Vaught recently pointed out to GamePolitics, with 14 million subscribers, if Xbox Live was a state, it would be the seventh largest in the U.S. with 20 electoral votes.

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Election Day: Congressional Races Have Game Implications

November 4, 2008 -

While the presidential election has, understandably, received the lion's share of voter attention this year, there are a number of other races around the country which carry implications for gamers.

U.S. Senate:

Roger Wicker (R-MS) is running for re-election. In July Wicker introduced the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act. The measure would "...prohibit the distribution or sale of video games that do not have age-based content rating labels [and]  prohibit the sale or rental of video games with adult content ratings to minors..." Wicker is in a tight race with former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D).

Ted Stevens (R-AK) is running for re-election. It's a toss-up as to whether the tech-challenged Stevens is more famous for his recent conviction on federal corruption charges or for his memorable description of the Internet as a "series of tubes." Most observers expect Democrat Mark Begich to win in a close race.

Mark Warner - the former Virginia governor is running for the U.S. Senate. Warner gets a mention here thanks to his groundbreaking 2006 appearance in Second Life. He was the first major candidate to appear in an online game. At the time, Warner was exploring a presidential bid.

U.S. House of Representatives:

Lee Terry (R-NE) is running for re-election. Terry is co-author of the House version of the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act and was lampooned by Daily Show host Jon Stewart following a 2006 congressional hearing on video game content. He is in a close race with Democratic challenger Jim Esch.

Jim Matheson (D-UT) is running for re-election. Matheson (with Lee Terry) is co-author of the House version of the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act. He proposed a similar bill in 2006, also an election year. Matheson's seat appears to be safe.

Fred Upton (R-MI) is running for re-election. Known for almost never missing a vote, Upton is generally well-regarded. In 2005 he proposed a resolution directing the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the Hot Coffee scandal involving Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In 2006 he proposed  Video Game Decency Act. Disbarred anti-game attorney Jack Thompson often writes to Upton, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Upton writes back. Upton's seat appears safe.

Betty McCollum (D-MN) is running for re-election. In the past McCollum has stood with Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family as Walsh presented his group's Annual Video Game Report Card. In 2007 McCollum criticized the video game industry, urging it to take Walsh's recommendations to heart. At the time, McCollum said, "The gaming industry has clearly failed to learn its lesson here: The pattern of inappropriate content hidden in Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt is a violation of parents’ and families’ trust." McCollum's seat does not appear to be in jeopardy.

Cliff Stearns (R-FL) is running for re-election. In 2006 Stearns, then running for re-election, chaired a subcommittee hearing which delivered a nasty beat-down to the ESA and ESRB. That same year he co-sponsored the Truth in Video Games Rating Act in Congress. Stearns has not made much news on the game front since that time.

Joe Baca (D-CA) is running for re-election. Baca has proposed video game legislation and been a game industry critic in the past but his efforts have not gained much traction. His seat appears safe.

Ron Paul (R-TX) is running for re-election. Although his presidential campaign fizzled, Paul enjoyed tremendous Internet support, including the first-ever political campaign rally in World of Warcraft. GP was on hand in January as Paul supporters marched from Ironforge to Stormwind. The Paul campaign also created an ad using snappy, gamelike visuals.

Peter Myers: The Green Party candidate is running for Congress in California's 15th District. He has criticized the use of the America's Army game series as a military recruitment tool. His chance of victory is slim.

UPDATED: Added in Mark Warner and Ron Paul...

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Sneak Peek at Obama iPhone Game

November 3, 2008 -

Sad Ninja Comedy has released a preview of what they say will be an upcoming iPhone game spoofing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The planned game is the companion to the comedy duo's film Rock Obama: The Barack Obama Musical

Here's SNC's description of its iPhone game Rock Obama:

Play as Barack Obama as he tries to gain popularity at a rally.

Podiums start to rise from the floor, and you tilt the iPhone to guide Obama to the right spot to gain popularity points. Encouraged by catchy music and quotes from the movie, help Barack keep up as the podiums rise faster and faster.

Upcoming release on iPhone App Store will be FREE for a limited time.

GP: Interesting use of the iPhone, although we suspect excitement over games about the candidates to drop after tomorrow's election...


38 Studios Head Curt Schilling Stumps with John McCain

November 3, 2008 -

Although he is trailing in the polls, Republican presidential candidate John McCain got a boost from 38 Studios boss Curt Schilling at a campaign appearance in New Hampshire last night.

Schilling, of course, is better known as the pitching ace of the Boston Red Sox. and that's the persona he displayed on McCain's behalf at the rally. As the Boston Herald reports, Schilling told the crowd:

The size of the payroll has nothing to do with the heart and talent of the team. They’d have you believe that we’re down 3-0, but let me tell you I have a little bit of experience with that and it doesn’t mean anything.

As GamePolitics reported last month, Schilling has been a financial supporter of McCain as well.

Also on hand at the event to lend their support to McCain were Joe Lieberman and Sam Brownback, a pair of Senate colleagues with a history of attempting to legislate video games.

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Don't Vote...

November 3, 2008 -

Election Day is tomorrow.

Don't vote...

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Awesome Half-Life 2 Mod Features Obama & McCain in Debate Setting

November 2, 2008 -

USC grad student John Brennan dropped GamePolitics a line to show us this amazing Half-Life 2 machinima featuring John McCain, Barack Obama, and an authentic HL2 head crab.

By way of explanation, John writes:

I'm an MFA student @ USC's interactive media program.  My thesis project is a series of modifications to Half-Life 2 that will operate in the same space as political cartoons.  I'm playing with format right now, but so far it is Modding and Machinima as self expression and political commentary:)

I have a process for quickly getting 'news-makers' (providing enough photography) into Half-Life 2, access to MoCap data, and some good people helping out.

I'm just launching my first piece now, but it is sizable enough that I'd like to bring it to your attention.  It includes McCain, Obama, a debate stage, and is just in time for the vote.

The Sims 3 Shows Off with Sarah Palin vids

November 2, 2008 -

Maxis is serving up a preview of The Sims 3 engine with a pair of videos featuring a Sim Sarah Palin.

In the trailer embedded here on GP, the Republican VP candidate dances (in camouflage lingerie) at a rally. In a second video Palin tussles with her opposite number, Democrat Joe Biden.

John McCain and Barack Obama also appear. We enjoyed this little notation at the end of the trailers:

No candidates were injured during the making of this video.

 

Free Stuff: Candidates Made into Spore Characters

November 1, 2008 -

Maxis has crafted the 2008 presidential tickets for Spore users.

From the press release:

For a bit of fun, EA’s Maxis studio has created the presidential and vice presidential candidates in the critically-acclaimed video game, Spore. Created with the game’s Spaceship Editor, players can download the characters, drag them into Spore to edit – even subscribe to the Sporecast and meet them flying around in Space! 

CLick here for more info...

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Wired: McCain Campaign Backs Out on Tech Debate

November 1, 2008 -

Wired reports that the McCain campaign bailed on a technology debate scheduled for Thursday just hours before it was to begin.

According to Wired's Nicholas Thompson, a debate on tech issues had been arranged between an Obama rep and McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Tickets to the event sold out quickly. Thompson writes:

Then, oops, yesterday morning, a couple hours before the event began, the McCain camp emailed to say that, actually, no, sorry, Holtz-Eakin can't make it for the 12:30 debate. Apparently he had very important meetings to attend. Right. Apparently, though, he stepped out in the middle. At 1pm he was on MSNBC attacking Obama, trying to tie him to George Bush's economic policies...

 

In short: the McCain camp chickened out. Spinning is easy; debating is hard. And defending John McCain’s record on broadband deployment, spectrum issues, and net neutrality is particularly hard...

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Webcomic: Obama, McCain & Guitar Hero

November 1, 2008 -

Political cartoon site Filibuster takes a look at current presidential campaign poll results through the lens of Guitar Hero...

Thanks to: Sharp-eyed GP correspondent Andrew Eisen. No worthy webcomic escapes his all-seeing eye!

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Obama & Palin as Playable Characters in Mercs 2

October 31, 2008 -

Some pundits are saying that high profile GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has hijacked the Republican spotlight from John McCain.

No argument here.

But if you require proof, consider that Pandemic Studios is releasing two playable characters as DLC for its controversial Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. The characters are Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, not Obama and presidential rival John McCain.

Among other combat activities, Obama struggles with a tank commander before dropping a grenade into the turret. Palin, clad in a designer red jacket and fashionable black skirt, wields an RPG and beats a helicopter pilot into unconsciousness.

It's all very presidential.

G4's Adam Sessler has a video report (at left). Pandemic exec Tom Stratton offers an explanation, of sorts:

Mercenaries 2 is a game seemingly ripped straight out of today's headlines and fueled with the same type of over-the-top action found in the best summer blockbuster films. It only makes sense we inject the game with a spin on current affairs. The timing was too good to let pass.

Venezuelan government officials and others have protested Mercs 2's invasion narrative in the past about. Placing Obama and Palin in the game will likely generate another round of outrage from the Hugo Chavez regime.

Nor is this the first appearance for 2008 candidates in a controversial video games. Last month GamePolitics reported on the inclusion of Obama and McCain in a trailer for GTA knockoff Saints Row 2

Watch Adam Sessler's report here... Additional Obama/Palin Mercs 2 footage can be seen here...

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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