My Take on ECA Vs. Obama

On July 27th, The ECA started a letter-writing campaign to show President Barack Obama their disapproval of his so-called anti-video game statements. Necessary? I think not.

ECA-run GamePolitics opened their announcement of the for, letter by saying this:

If you’re a regular GamePolitics reader, you know that President Barack Obama often refers to video games as something to be set aside in favor of presumably more worthwhile pursuits. In the most recent example, Obama, speaking at the NAACP’s 100th anniversary dinner, counseled African-American parents to put away the Xbox.

What are the pursuits that are “presumably” more worthwhile than playing a video you ask? Let’s go to Obama’s NAACP 100th Anniversary speech, the same speech from which ECA quoted the “put away the Xbox” statement. He gives us a few examples of what goal young blacks should shoot for.

They might think they’ve got a pretty good jump shot or a pretty good flow, but our kids can’t all aspire to be the next LeBron or Lil Wayne. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court Justice. I want them aspiring to be President of the United States.

In short The ECA is shunning President Obama for suggesting black parents to cut down their kids’ time on video games in order to study in hopes to be doctor, teacher, politician. I’m sorry ECA, but those are not “presumably worthwhile goals”, they are worthwhile goals period. Don’t get it twisted. I love playing video games, but I see no problem in sacrificing leisure time for more time studying for a top-notch education.

ECA Online Advocacy Manager Brett Schenker writes about this “action campaign”, stating:

We know video games can promote fitness. We know games can educate, because we’ve experienced that first hand.

There are certain video games that do promote education and/or fitness. But with like most forms of media they are in the minority. The majority of today’s entertainment, be it video games, film, music, etc., is just simply entertainment.

And finally you get to send President Obama your disaproval of him suggesting to parent to moderate the kids gaming time. You can personalize the letter to say whatever you want or you can use the message already in the text box:

…I think that you’ll find that the video game community is quite vibrant and active…

Just ignore the people who curse you out in the forums and Xbox Live. They don’t count.

With the recent launch of the Nintendo Wii…

Recent? Something that happened three years ago is recent?

…We have taken the next step in physical immersion in video games. Nintendo has made it a part of their system and known to the masses that video games allow us to be physically active and no longer tethered to our couches.

Except for a few games such as Wii Fit and EA Sports Active, most Wii games can be played SITTING DOWN. I think they are overselling the issue, but, whatever.

I hope this letter will allow you to think about video games and the gaming community in a new light and that you’ll rethink their inclusion in future speeches.

Yes…yes… Maybe in his next speech he will say, “Parents, make sure your kids play video games until they fall asleep on top of their controllers, then, if time permits do a little bit of homework and study.” Would that satisfy you, ECA?

I think people are making too big a deal out a three-second sentence from a 30 minute speech. The ECA should find better stuff to do than make a big deal over a few one-sentence “statements” about video games.

If you want to hear the President’s full speech you can find it here.


3 responses to “My Take on ECA Vs. Obama

  1. The ECA agrees with President Obama that students need to be physically active and study, and that sitting on a couch all day achieves neither of these objectives.What our call to action is about is the President's use of video games as the fall guy. With so many pieces of unconstitutional anti-video game legislation being proposed, it's easy to see that video games are today's "whipping boy" and we're concerned that the President's comments perpetuates this image.This campaign is just one step of many to show the positive aspects of video games, and there are many.Hope that clears things up.Brett

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