Rush Limbaugh recently defended videogames after a caller to his talk show brought up the subject of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, but is Limbaugh someone that the game industry even wants on its side?
Limbaugh used the case to rail against an over abundance of government and liberalism, asking the caller to “Join me when the government gets involved in all these other behavioral and speech things that they try to tell you and control us we can't do.” He added that he was “glad” that the case was taking place, as it would push these topics (over-governing and liberalism) into the mainstream, alerting people “to what’s happening throughout society.”
A GameTheory column authored by Nadia Oxford calls Limbaugh’s opinions “controversial, to say the least,” and asks “should the games industry embrace him (or maybe a friendly handshake will do) as a quotable ally on the grounds of ‘Enemies of my enemies are my friends?’”
Oxford notes that last year, Limbaugh took exception to an eventually cancelled game called Rendition: Guantanamo, a title that had players attempt to escape the Cuban prison. Limbaugh, because the game was planned for release on the Xbox 360, said that Bill Gates and Microsoft should be held accountable for the game, which he labeled “insulting” to military personnel.
Oxford claims that calling out Gates and Microsoft in the example given could be interpreted as “an act that stifles free speech.”
Just to play contrarian to Oxford’s point, Limbaugh, as previously noted by GP reader PHX Corp., did attempt to lessen any links to videogames in the fallout following the 2007 Virginia Tech school shooting.
Oxford then explored the other side of the argument:
On the flip side, it’s tempting to hand a free pass to someone like Limbaugh because he defends video games. But unless Limbaugh gives some indication that he understands or is at least interested in the workings of the games industry and its history, it’s better to hold off before praising him.
Wrapping up, the columnist offered:
In spite of everything, it would be a good thing if he took an interest in games in order to argue their case. As it is, though, games are just a disposable example he can reach for when he needs to put together a quick rant for his own ends.