I think it's high time that people get past this notion of gamers as passive couch potatoes divorced from the world around them. I've seen gamers raise thousands of dollars for worthwhile causes like Penny Arcade's "Child's Play" charity and games for US troops overseas. Gamers can be ardent defenders of Net Freedom or even protestors for Chinese nationalism. Heck, they have their own blog devoted to politics.
That stereotype dismantled, here's my five reasons why gamers should back the Senator from Illinois, Mr. Barack Obama, for U.S. Guildmaster, I mean, President:
- Obama Groks the Power of the Internet: Obama gets that that Generation X and Y are using the internet as their entertainment center, their social hangout, and their primary source of timely information about the world. No, he didn't invent the Blackberry, but he does understand that the Gamer Generation connects with each other in substantially different ways than generations before.
- Obama Defends Net Freedom: Obama understands how important Net Neutrality is. The ability of next-gen game developers to create online games depends on a vibrant and open internet environment, unfettered by artificially throttled and filtered access.
- Obama Knows We Need Broadband: Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access. And you know how sucky it is to play Halo over a sketchy internet connection. We need cheap, fast wired and wirelesss broadband in every community in America.
- Obama Supports Stronger Math & Science in Schools: America lags way behind the rest of the industrialized world in math and science aptitude in its high schools, which over time will lead us to have a workforce ill-prepared for the 21st century and less college students getting degrees in computer science and engineering. That means less skilled coders and game developers in America. Which means that American games companies will lag behind Japan and Korea and other countries in the multi-billion dollar games industry. Obama takes this problem seriously and wants to seriously invest in strong science and math educational programs from K-12 to university-level in America.
- Obama Will Appoint 1st Amendment Defending Supreme Court Justices: User "DigDig" on Gamepolitics.com adds an important point about the kind of judges that President Obama would appoint to the Supreme Court. He notes that "Obama judges are much more likely to interpet the 1st Amendment more broadly and include video games, and to say that that should be enforced on the whole country (federal and states)... Nothing a president does will have as lasting an impact on the country as the kind of judges he nominates to the courts." Thanks, DigDig!
- Obama Totally Pwns in Unreal Tournament: He's the only player I know who can go head to head in a Scavenger against a Fury equipped with Berserk and come out ahead. Talk about presidential. (Ok, maybe I made that up. But I hear his Wii Bowling score is 278.)
If you agree that Obama is a "game changing" candidate for the Presidency, why not join the Gamers for Obama group? And whoever you pick, don't forget to vote!
[Image: "Obama and McCain Go to War(craft)" by MOGS, used with permission.]