18 January, 2008
I’m going to make a post that’s a bit out-of-character for this blog: it’s about U.S. politics. Now, I usually avoid this subject to avoid turning this into a political blog sometimes about games. But, this is related to a topic I feel strongly about.
So, given that one of the major buzzwords in this election season is “change”, what does that really mean?
Honestly? Not much. Given most politician’s willingness to take cheap shots at video games to score some easy points with fretting parents, I’m not terribly optimistic. How much “change” do you think a politician would support if he or she said, “And I’m against these violent and racy movies (or comic books, or rock music, or books) that are harming our children!” Yet, you have politicians saying just that about video games.
By now we’ve accepted that the “dangerous media” of the previous generations was over-sensationalized (or tamed and neutered, depending on your outlook), so the real measurement is how the politicians view new media. Video games are the threat du jour, and I think the real measurement is how much the candidate really does embrace change as an overwhelming theme. But, most politicians see no gain in supporting games. They even ignore the fact that most laws trying to restrict this type of content have been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. courts, at least in recent times.
Unfortunately, U.S. politics has degenerated into simply pandering to whatever group the candidate hopes will vote in the largest numbers. Even Obama (the original “Mr. Change” of this campaign season) has made some typical politician comments about games. A proclamation in support of games would upset some voters, particularly the fretful motherly types that the pundits say Obama needs to appeal to. Of course, one could point to this fear of games being a problem with society as a whole that wants to look for a scapegoat for all the ills that plague every generation. “Something must be making my otherwise angelic children into monsters. I blame the newest form of media!”
Anyway, something for game fans to think about in this political season.