What Barack Obama’s Win Means For Gamers

How might the Barack Obama administration affect the video game industry and the games we play? What has Obama already pledged that his administration will do with the video game industry?

Veteran 1up.com editor Sam Kennedy has an excellent overview of Obama’s record regarding video games at his site that every gamer in America should read today.

We don’t often link to other people’s work here at the Multiplayer blog, but isn’t today all about change? Give Sam’s piece a read so you know what to expect from a President who has admitted to playing “Pong.”

In the piece, Kennedy quotes Obama’s answers to a question regarding violent video games in a questionnaire issued by Common Sense Media that was issued during the 2008 Presidential primaries.

The video game question posed to Obama in that survey: “To date, nearly 10 states have considered legislation to keep violent video games out of kids’ hands. Would you support this type of legislation at the federal level? What other strategies would you support to keep the video game industry and other media companies from marketing and selling inappropriate content to children?”

Obama’s answer:“A: We need to give parents the tools and information they need to make choices about what programs their children are watching or what video games they are playing. As we move towards a digital environment, there is a golden opportunity for the industry to do this on their own—to use the latest in technology to give parents more information and more choice. For example, this technology could make it possible for parents to create their own family tier just by programming their television to block certain channels, block certain genres of programming like dramas, or block television at certain times of the day. The same can be said of video games, especially as we’re moving into an era when they can be downloaded as easily as today’s movies and television shows.

“I would call upon the video game industry to give parents better information about programs and video games by improving the voluntary rating system we currently have. Broadcasters and video game producers should take it upon themselves to improve this system to include easier to find and easier to understand descriptions of exactly what kind of content is included. But if the industry fails to act, then my administration would.

“And even if the industry does do some responsible self-policing, there’s still a role for the federal government to play. We need to understand the impact of these new media better. That’s why I supported federal funding to study the impact of video games on children’s cognitive development.”

Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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