America’s Next President, VP Against Video Games?

America’s Next President, VP Against Video Games?

by August 8, 2000

Here’s more reaction from the DC Tech Pages.  We start with Seth C.

Why do videogames get the blame? Because parents (aka The-ones-at-fault-but-looking-for-someone-else-to-blame-and-sue) still see the game makers as the easiest target. Little do they know.

Dural: In America there is a drinking age limit, and an age limit to see certain movies, so what is the big deal of having a video game age limit for violent video games. I don’t have a problem with it, but then again such a law would have no effect on me, so it is hard for me to get all worked up over it.

Anyway this whole topic is about Mr. Lieberman, who is a conservative in some areas but not in others (go figure). A guy who walks around with the label “Orthodox Jew” but does not even follow some of the most important teachings of the Jewish faith. Hmmm? I don’t see this guy who has no real power if he became VP, affecting a 10 billion dollar industry.

Core 238: I mean, eventually this is going to impact SEGA and the types of software that they release. I mean, take a look at the Columbine School Shooting. Two kids go berserk, and SEGA not only does not release its own DC light gun in the US, but also does not allow 3rd parties to license it either. Where does it end. And now that we know that we have candidates (in one camp at least) that take a strong dislike to the types of software that companies like SEGA wish most to have on their systems (Resident Evil, DoA, Shadow Man, Seaman etc) . . . well I think that you see where this is leading. Right now its violent content, next it’ll be sexual content, and Ulala and Lara (not that I care about Lara) will both be getting the pink slip. Where does it stop indeed? Total federal regulation over the industry? The elimination of the gray market import? Censorship of online content and speech carried out over game servers? I think that this is a very pertinent topic, even if its not a direct topic in its nature. And I feel that a more open dialog between gamers can hopefully only do more good than ill. Now I just wish I knew where Bush stood on this issue (not that it really matters, he may just as well change his stance once he is in office . . . most US politicians do).

Schwa: The major concern is not that there are age restrictions for videogames, but that the restrictions are imposed and enforced by the industry itself, and not by the government. Sen. Lieberman’s hearings on video game violence, while somewhat paranoid, are directly responsible for the videogame industry stepping up and creating the ESRB.

I don’t think gamers would honestly have much to worry about with Lieberman in the VP spot, particularly since Gore (claims to be) pro-First amendment.

We shall see…

And Dean: While I am not American, I was watching some political analysis of what Sen. Lieberman role would be as the VP. They went on to say that we could expect Lieberman to altogether stop his campaign against Hollywood, Music and Videogame industry.

The reason being is that 20% of the Democratic funding does come from Hollywood (which Sony is a part of.

As well, the VP does not set any major agenda which is what this would be. He mainly finds minor causes to champion (Can you think of major issues Gore has campaigned as the VP? The Internet? ;P ).

Finally, Tipper Gore used to also be a stalwart outspoken opponent of the Movie industry. That was until Gore was nominated as a VP candidate after which, Tipper Gore no longer perused the subject.

So I think we could find the issue dying off with Lieberman become the Democratic VP candidate.

Of course I don’t follow US politics that often and could be wrong…

And finally today, I received this letter from Neon Chaos, who also forwarded this to several major gaming sites including IGN Dreamcast and Dreamcast HQ:

I’m getting sick and tired of all this garbage about video games making people violent, blab, blab, and blab. What really gets on my nerves is Joe Lieberman who thinks he’s God and that it’s possible (a) ban of video gamers (will occur) everywhere. The thing that really bothers me is that we the public can’t do anything about it! If vote for someone else besides Bush for
President, it doesn’t matter – even if everyone in the United States voted against him. You want to know what? It’s in the Constitution (where it) states that the public can’t really vote for the President, only the Senate members can. So (when) we go vote for the president it’s like taking a poll on some web site that ask you your favorite ice cream. When will all this madness end?

Do you need to fire off a letter to me on this?  E-Mail me.

8/7: Here’s some brief reaction to Gore’s decision on Joe Lieberman as his running mate.  First, here’s a somewhat editorial comment from GameFan:

The Senator that’s become the bane of video gamers everywhere for his hard-line stance against violent video games (the Senator has gone so far as to publicly announce his desire to ban violent games entirely) has accepted Al Gore’s offer to join him as running mate for the upcoming presidential election. In an effort to remain at least somewhat non-partisan in this news article, I’ll refrain from pointing out the track records of Al Gore, his wife, Tipper, and Senator Lieberman with regard to the entertainment industry in general…they’re a matter of public record. What I will do is encourage everyone of legal voting age in GameFan Online’s readership to register and vote this time around. We can complain all we like in news articles and editorials about government attempts to censor video games and entertainment, but if we don’t speak with our votes, we’re doomed to “more of the same.” Now’s the time to let your vote count, so let’s just call this a reminder to support the brand of politics you believe in during the upcoming elections!

Let’s go to the DC Tech Pages, and Bishamon:

Be afraid of Lieberman and his socialist thinking! Why can’t parents just do their job!? I was already voting for Bush, but if Gore chooses Lieberman, this is just one more thing to put him deeper in the hole.

And finally, Grouser: I never knew that being conservative meant hating videogames…  As far as I can tell, it’s been liberal parental organizations that have been fussing about games, wrestling and fun stuff in general. Besides, it doesn’t matter what side of the fence that Bush is on. He has a definite history of ignoring the entire videogame industry. You can’t say that about Lieberman, and that is enough to make me cast a vote against Lieberman (and not exactly for Bush). Dural – You’re right, the VP doesn’t have any power. But the president’s wife does!  What frightens me more than Lieberman, is the thought of Tipper Gore changing the Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign into the “Just Say No To Violent Videogames” campaign.

In a related story, here’s an article from Gamefan about a recent study conducted–it claims that violent videogames do next to nothing to children:

According to a news report this afternoon on Reuters, Psychologists Jeanne Funk and Debra Buchman told a meeting of the American Psychological Association that, according to their studies, playing violent video games for 15 minutes or less does not seem to make children more aggressive.

The pair studied the habits and behavior of 35 children (25 boys, 10 girls), between the ages of 8 and 12, with regard to video and computer games. The children filled out questionnaires designed to assess violent attitudes and degrees of empathy. The children then played one of two games; one violent, the other non-violent, for 15 minutes. Then the children were asked for their responses to a variety of imaginary situations, designed to evoke either violent or empathetic responses. Both groups reacted to these situations similarly, regardless of what type of game they had just been exposed to.

However, when polled about their favorite of the two games, those who were predisposed toward violence were drawn to the more violent of the two, indicating that violent games may attract violent people, but they do not make them violent. Of course, this is only fuel for further debate; in the final analysis, it does nothing to dispel the irrational fears of those who are certain that events like Columbine can be directly tied to video game violence.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:  First and foremost, Fox News reports that Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman will become Democrat Al Gore’s running mate for the 2000 election.  As we know, Lieberman is seriously against so-called ‘violent’ video games.  That combined with Tipper Gore’s hatred for games is seriously concerning some gamers, some are now persuaded to vote for Republican hopefuls Geroge W. Bush and Dick Cheney, even though Bush is still hanging on the fence in terms of his stance on video games.

Lieberman got the call at midday today.  One thing to note–when the business markets are up, the political party that owned the presidency while the growth took place usually gets re-elected to the top spot.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Reaction is coming this evening.