The following is a guest post by Barack Obama:
We can accept games that breed division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can play games only as spectacle – as we did in the Halo 3 release – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did with Super Columbine Massacre - or as fodder for the nightly news, as we do with Bully. We can show these violent games on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that Grand Theft Auto has artistic content or sympathize with its publisher, Rockstar Games. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing Manhunt 2, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his past stance on Mortal Kombat.
We can do that.
But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other video game. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.
That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the new board games that are providing for the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn to sit around a table together and discuss strategy; that those kids who don’t look like us are in somebody else’s game group. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in the skills of placing the robber, managing the castillo, and choosing which cards to discard to settle a non-military world. Not this time.
April 1, 2008