Tools For The Politically Minded Gamer
Author: Tim Beringer
published: 2008-02-13 17:16:21
In our continued effort to inform and cultivate the minds of gamers, today we’re bringing some useful tools to stay informed politically. While it may be difficult to understand exactly what American presidential hopefuls stand for, it is nonetheless important to try. In the past month there have been a few very interesting things to surface in relation to games, technology and American politics.
A few lackluster quotes from the political mouthpieces themselves are as follows with age before beauty before icy glares.
Sen. John McCain
"We should place the federal government in the role of stimulator, rather than regulator, of broadband services, remove state and local barriers to broadband deployment, and facilitate deployment of broadband services to rural and unserved communities."
Sen. Barack Obama
"The Internet is the most open network in history. We have to keep it that way. I will prevent network providers from discriminating in ways that limit the freedom of expression on the Internet."
Sen. Hillary Clinton
"No other communications medium in recent history has had such a profound impact as the Internet on free expression, education, the proliferation of commerce, and the exchange of political ideas. And it is the basic principles of neutrality and nondiscrimination that have allowed the Internet to flourish."
It’s hard to argue that the actual issues aren’t the most important part of a candidate, but with quotes like this not a lot of information is being communicated. Since the youth based, internet and gaming society isn’t exactly as important as men in suits who decide the price of oil, it is very difficult to find out where the candidates stand beyond pithy sound bites. Fortunately Declan McCullagh, “the Iconoclast” has been coming out with tech and media related coverage of the candidates for some time now. Most significantly in memory was his ”Who’s the Most Tech Friendly” post from last week.
In the article McCullagh outlines the candidates and where they stand on the issues of Net Neutrality, The Real ID Act and more with a simple table of how each candidate has responded. Since one of the candidates covered is gone and one, sadly, won’t make an appreciable difference to the election, the article has become a little dated. It still provides important and easy to read information with an open and unbiased view so readers can decide for themselves.
For people who just go with the majority of their peers or important deciding body, gamers are still left out in the cold for now. The ECA is a dead end for opinions on politics. ”The ECA is a 501(c)(4) non-profit membership org - an IRS designation that classifies the type of entity that we are and business that we do. It’s significant because that same classification prohibits us from backing any one party or politician.” While they are still a great place to stay informed, the ECA can offer about as much guidance as a one-legged sherpa with a blind mule, legally.
If the issues and guiding bodies fail you, you can always turn to the new guide of the candidates by Game With a Brain. The article compares the politicians to some old-school video games. Obama is Final Fantasy VII due to the fact that style and veneer might be covering a lack of substance. Clinton is Donkey Kong Country 3 for being the same old, simple song and dance with a couple new tricks. Huckabee is Bible Adventures, of course. This is not only because of the obvious religious overtones, but also because underneath it all, there’s some novelty and personality there. Finally, McCain is Desert Bus: Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors due to the painfully long and difficult nature of the game that will ”occasionally veer off to the right.”
Keeping all of these things in mind it falls to the gamers, citizens and voters who are one in the same to make their voices heard with all the information needed to make the right decision. If you want my opinion, I’ll be voting for the same candidate I vote for come every election.
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