Recently, presidential hopeful Barack Obama has made a few speeches that apparently stuck in the meaty, burbling craw of the gaming community, resulting in a flurry of tyrannical screeds, predictably reactionary to the point of being sad and pathetic. The kind of sad where the only reasonable reaction is to simply shake your head slowly, or pinch the bridge of your nose and sigh deeply, shutting your eyes tightly to block out the ceaseless parade of imbeciles.
What was it Obama said? What could possibly have generated so much vitriol? Were we suddenly being faced with two democratic presidential candidates that advocated the censorship of games? Nope, Obama made the radical suggestion that it would be a good thing for parents to turn off their children’s game systems “once in a while” in order to peel their sedentary asses from the carpet and introduce them to the myriad wonders of the world that exist outside of a console.
The unrelenting horror of a generation of gamers able to balance an interest in philanthropy, art, academics, and nature against an interest in games is enough to fill any right-thinking citizen with bowel-quaking fear. I personally went through several pairs of Quailman underoos at the first reports of the fascistic espousing of a world of well-balanced, temperate gamers; actually reading the speech has left me a broken man, a mere shadow of the once great avian raconteur I once was.
Obama didn’t go so far as to imply gamers were underachievers as so many shrill hypemongers have claimed, nor did he assert that games were responsible for the apathy and lack of motivation present in far too many of today’s youth. Yet the minute the games media mob heard the words “games” and “turn off” in concert in a speech by a presidential hopeful they had a responsibility to let slip the dogs of irrational war with a haste that didn’t afford them the opportunity for critical thought.
It’s worth noting, even if only briefly, that I am no Obama shill; my own personal politics don’t factor into this one iota. This is simply disappointment in an industry I’ve come to know and love, doing the same thing they’ve always done: react before thinking.
Sadly, the effects of the collective vituperative “news” making the rounds may have more far-reaching consequences than even the self-appointed oracles of gaming could predict. Blatant idiocy is easily ignored if it’s mostly harmless, but by dint of railing against Obama, the kneejerkers — and I will admit to my own possible reactionary hype here — have influenced a fair number of their readership in regard to for whom they will vote.
Admittedly, anyone that allows their political ideology to be swayed by a single post on a game blog isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the box, and those same easily-swayed folk are likely also to follow the popular trend of Bush-bashing — which again, for the purposes of this article I have no opinion on one way or the other — thus precluding them from a Republican vote. This cornucopia of my own paranoia and rampant speculation all blends down into a fine slurry of no choice at all, resulting in a creche of youngsters even less inspired to actually go vote.
Well played, my friends, well played indeed.