When I read that Microsoft’s Get Game Smart initiative was holding a game night with Representatives Mike Rogers (R-Mich), Bobby Scott (D-Va), John Shimkus (R-Ill) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) as hosts, I thought what a great idea that was. I’ve always refused to believe that not a single representative in our government was a gamer or actually cared enough to defend gamers, an absolute enormous group of passionate voter-aged people who remain untapped. That is why when I run for the NJ senate in 2012 I’m running on an entirely pro-gamer ticket. And also to repeal the Bush tax cuts. And push through a public healthcare option. And hold Wall Street accountable through stricter regulation. And ban religion from schools that receive public funding. And nationalize textbooks. And ban republicans from apologizing to major corporations who destroy fragile ecosystems and then somehow owe less money than Limewire does (who knew oil spills were less damaging than downloading music.)
Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah, Congress’ Family Game Night. My problem with this is that, while it seems like a great idea, it is so incredibly easy for the people in control of our country to miss the point. Organizers are using this as an opportunity to show families how to enjoy games without being exposed to all the dicks and cursing that apparently ruin our gaming experiences and corrupt our nation. That is a great idea, because it doesn’t vilify games as much as it tries to show that the number one most important thing here is parental involvement. That should have always been the issue. GTA IV won’t corrupt your kids if you aren’t a shitty parent, there isn’t anymore to it than that no matter how hard Joe “I’m the biggest asshole that ever lived” Lieberman wants to keep his name relevant around election time.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz;
Instead of preventing our children from using the computer or the Internet, or criminalizing speech online that would be permissible on the playground, we must instead teach children how to be good cybercitizens.
100%. It isn’t the computers or the internet that open up the pathway to risky behavior, it’s the lack of parental oversight (lack of oversight, hey, sounds like something our government should know a lot about) and the fact parents seem to use computers and television as a babysitter instead of actually sitting down and talking to their kids about things. This leads to children who aren’t mentally prepared to see the things they see and have to fill in the blanks, so to speak, without having any sort of moral jumping off point to base their assessments off of. Acting like video games are somehow a gateway drug to perversion and violence is something that has been disproved over and over and over again but still seems prevalent in the beltway and at pee wee soccer games nation wise.
Bringing parental involvement and industry together is vital in order to help protect children from inappropriate graphic violence and sexual situations.
Half credit, it shouldn’t be on the industry to dumb down their artistic ideas because some kid who has sub-par parenting might think that Gears of War is a narrative belief system or something. The government needs to stop relying on the industry and start talking directly to the parents of America’s childr-… Wait? John Shimkus?! JOHN SHIMKUS?! This is the best representative they could get to show up for this? The same John Shimkus that idiotically compared the Iraq war to a baseball game between the Cardinals and the Cubs? The same John Shimkus that walked out on a speech by the President of the United States like a petulant child because the party of NO wasn’t getting their way? The same John Shimkus who believes that lowering our carbon dioxide output will actually HARM the plants involved in the Earth’s ecosystem? The same John Shimkus that quoted the fucking bible during a hearing on global warming and said, and I’m paraphrasing only very little here, that we don’t need to worry about the icecaps melting because God promised he wasn’t going to try to fucking drown us again?!
THIS is the guy they have at this event? He probably understands technology as well as he understands science or how to tie his own tie.
Shimkus is two steps back just because he still holds public office somehow.
[Source: GamePolitics, which if there was a God would be getting more hits than IGN, Kotaku, and us combined. Vote dummies.]