For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

October 13, 2008 -

Stretching back to the Democratic primary season, Sen. Barack Obama has been referencing video games as a sort of code for underachievement by America's youth.

With his campaign in the home stretch, Obama continues to hit that theme. The Chicago Sun-Times provides the text of a speech delivered by Obama in Columbus, Ohio on Friday. Ohio, of course, is a key battleground state and both the Obama and McCain campaigns are going all-out to woo voters there.

Here's the game-related language from Obama's speech. It differs little from comments he has made throughout the campaign, and drew cheers and applause, according to the Sun-Times's transcript:

You know, I will invest in education. We'll make sure government gets behind the schools. But it won't make much of a difference if parents aren't turning off the television set and putting away the video games and making sure that our children are doing their homework.

 


Comments

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement ...

Barack Obama has been referencing video games as a sort of code for underachievement by America's youth.

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Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement ...

I think there is nothing wrong to play games.

 

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Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement ...

If your kids are doing their home on time then gaming for specific time then its fine otherwise it can be disaster for your kids and you. Internet game are good until you play for limited time.

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Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement ...

What does that say about all the Americans that enjoy other internet games like online bingo or casino games. I think gammers are musch better off.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Well, he's right that dumping more money into (already overfunded) schools won't help unless the parents raise their own kids. And you can't simply force parents to force their kids to do their homework (in a "free society" anyways).

The way I look at it, he's admitting his programs won't work.

 

I think it's pretty funny though how everyone defends Obama's constant game-blaming. I've been around gaming sites since before Obama was around, and anytime a regular (usually conservative) politician said something negative about kids playing too much games, or mature games, they got lambasted. I see a huge double standard these days.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

I think one of the other key differences is that Obama isn't telling people that video games are going to make their children violent hate machines.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

lol, double standards.

And then there's this.... Which, personally I as a gamer hate advertising in games..well mostly during load screens.

http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2008/10/14/obama-ad-appears-in-burnout-paradise/

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

It's kind of difficult to play GoW and do homework at the same time, so it's a parent's responsiblity to make sure the homework takes precedence :)

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Parents should be turning off the TV and Video games to make their kids do homework. But at the same time Teachers should be teaching at school and not just sending all the work home so they can do their social engineering experiments during class.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Not sure about the American school system as I'm an Aussie, but over here our highschool was filled with generally work work work, and then homework was finishing off sections we didn't get done in class, assignments or reading for what we were learning, hardly 'social engineering'. When you're moving from class to class and spending anywhere from 1-2hrs a day on 4-5 different subjects, you need homework to help firm ideas you're learning, or half the next class is spent making sure that everyone is about at the bare minimum to even progress onwards.

I have a student in my classes who being a teenage girl does not practice her work at home, or does so very minimally, and with only one class a week and without that later refreshment in her brain her skill progression and opportunity to learn more lags behind other students who DO practice. In comparison I have another student who only does one night a week, but practices a lot at home, and his standard of work is very good, and I can be sure if I teach him something, next week he'll retain 80-90% of it, compared to the 30-40% if you don't practice.

That same can be said of homework, if you don't return to it reasonably quickly, you do not learn, and then school time is spent going over the same material again and again, which then means education standards fall.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

It's not going to change the way that people vote, so why does it matter?

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Agree with the others here.  Imagine if you will a site called TelevisionPolitics.com and every time someone urged that a child should turn off the tv and do their homework, the site critically blogged about it.  "Why are parents telling kids to stop watching TV, don't they know it's educational?"  It would be bizarre.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

I don't think he's blaiming video games for underacheivements or anything, what he said is actually what I expect from parents. No matter how much you like games, you still need to do your homework if you want to learn anything.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Don't stories like this usually have the commentors going, "No! You take that back, person that said that! You idiot! You don't know what you're talking about! Typical politician!"
 
Oh wait, this is about Obama. Nevermind. :)

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Except that most of us here have been saying this sort of thing for years?

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Most gamers are willing to say it on their own. Until some politician says it, then they get in a tizzy... unless it's Obama. Then it's OK. ;)

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Sorry, but I agree with Obama here. GP is attempting to split his sentence into 2 mesages. This is no metaphor.

Homework before Leisure, no matter what the leisure is.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

There's no question that good parenting is the message of Obama's speech here. However, the fact that he is REPEATEDLY using video games as a metaphore for corruption is a sign of where he stands. With everyone casting stones at us, Obama's been chucking in a pebble every now and then. While "gaming rights" is obviously a much smaller issue than the wars or the economic crisis, it cannot be completely ignored. What this really boils down to is Constitutional rights, and if Obama is willing to lax on the freedom of speech, what else is he willing to ignore, or worse, attack? Freedom of Religion? Freedom of Peaceful Assembly? Freedom to Petition for Redress of Grievances? And that's just the First Amendment.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Um.... no??

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

He uses video games because thats what is popular for kids to do these days instead of homework.

he also mentions TV, if this was the 20's or something a similar statement would be that parents should make sure that kids put down their sticks and tires, or balls and cups and do their homework.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

The 20's, hmmm...might be more like "Turn off those radio programs"

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Holy CRAP what a knee-jerk reaction... I'm not even sure where to start. Might as well go in order.

1. "Metaphor for corruption?" Where did you even get that one?

2. He isn't singling out games. Or did you not even notice that TV got just as big a mention (read: miniscule)?

3. At no point in his speech did he suggest that nobody should play video games ever, or that the government should regulate violent video games. So I don't even know where that diatribe about constitutional rights came from.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

wow, way to blow this WAY over the top. how does "Do your homework first" turn into "i'm against freedom of speech"

He didn't even say that video games are bad, he just said "Do your homework FIRST". Education first, that's his message. He never said you cant do video games second, he's just listing priorities.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

To be honest making sure your kids are getting their homework done is just good parenting. There is a time to turn off the games and get things done. How is this a bad thing to say when we've been saying it for years?

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement ...

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

I... oh.  Yeah, that's right.  Phew, so I'm not needed here.  Carry on, everyone.

----------------------------

"They were retarded hairless pink bunnies, all of them. Except Shigeru Myamoto and... well, the good ones were just too /rare/ to be worth bothering about." - Mason Hornblower on the extinction of the human race

-------------------------

Treat me nice, or you may end up in my next novel.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Agreed, seems more like he knows what a lot of kids like doing with their time after school.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Agree with all of the above. Isn't this what we've been the whole time?

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Agreed. Nice try GP, but Obams's got a point here.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

I don't support Obama, but this is still true. I'm really tired of our "he said this, he said that" media coverage.

Re: For Obama, Video Games Still an Underachievement Metaphor

Agreed. I mean, I see what you're saying, GP, but at the same time I don't think he's really pushing a "video games are bad, mmk?" agenda so much as just saying that, yeah, if your kids are neglecting their homework then the parents need to be more proactive in making sure it gets done. And yeah, when I was a kid one of my mom's (rarely employed) forms of punishment was unplugging the TV and disconnecting the consoles, and it was pretty effective so I can't really say I disagree.

Edit: And at least he did sot of toss TV and video games out there, rather than singling out games specifically.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

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AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
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SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
 

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