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Obama in brief videogame reference SHOCKER!

5:40 PM on 07.27.2009 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

You know, I'm all for criticizing those who attack videogames. Anti-game lobbyists are one of the core subjects I write about here at Destructoid. However, that doesn't mean that every single person who briefly mentions gaming as part of an overall point is somehow "the enemy. Quite honestly, these constant stories about Barack Obama's passing references to gaming really are silly.

Obama has mentioned videogames maybe two or three times so far during his career, and each time the blogs and gamer communities whip themselves into an uproar, acting like Obama has made some baseless and terrible accusation at the hobby we love. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here's what he said the last time everyone claimed our President was scapegoating:

"We can't tell our kids to do well in school and then fail to support them when they get home. You can't just contract out parenting. For our kids to excel, we have to accept our responsibility to help them learn. That means putting away the Xbox. Putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences and reading to our children and helping them with their homework."

Really, was that so awful? He never said games have no place in a child's life. He never said videogames are causing kids to be stupid and lazy. He said parents have a responsibility to make sure games consoles aren't acting like babysitters. I can tell he has no interest in videogames. The word "Xbox" could have been as interchangeable to him as "television" or "computer."

It's annoying when games are thrown under the bus, and I admit that I get oversensitive to it now and then, after writing about this kind of nonsense for years, but Obama is the last person to get distressed over.

It reminds me of when Obama was inaugurated and a few blogs were trying desperately to make it relevant to videogames somehow, likely so they could siphon some sweet Presidential traffic. At the end of the day, however, videogames and President Obama have no relation. Not right now, and quite possibly never. I understand that writing about Obama and Michael Jackson is a great way to exploit Google Trends, but to keep looking for these piss-weak connections makes game Web sites look a little bit pathetic, and quite blatantly reaching. 

A man briefly mentioned videogames. Hardly the end of the world.




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Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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