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Comparing the Candidates on Game Issues

| 9 Sep 2008 20:00
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Edge Online has organized the statements by the US presidential nominees and their running mates on their stances over videogame legislation.

As the United States election creeps closer, concerned gamers voting in November have cut through all the talk about economic plans and wars to try and research one of the issues they care about: videogame censorship and ratings enforcement.

Edge Online grabbed all gaming-related references from candidates to form a stance for both sides.

Conservative McCain is the nominee most supportive of the gaming industry's efforts for self-regulation. During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, a curious supporter questioned him on the role of parenting in controlling kids' access to media.

"He felt that parents should be the ones to decide for their kids on a case by case basis (which I was satisfied with). He then did a weird segue way into the evils of child pornography from there, which kind of had me shaking my head," wrote a reporter.

McCain's camp even used gaming to promote his campaign, creating the Facebook app Pork Invaders, where the player shoots oncoming pigs representing pork-barrel spending a la Space Invaders.

His Vice President, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, has no track record with governing gaming. Her one instance of media censorship came when she was a mayor and asked the local library to remove certain books due to "voter complaints."

Democratic Senator and potential President Barack Obama admitted to being a Pong player when he was younger. Obama promotes industry self-control, according to his interview with Common Sense Media, but would be willing to get the government involved if game companies don't censor violence to his office's standards.

"If the industry fails to act, then my administration would.... We need to understand the impact of these new media better," stated Obama. "That's why I supported federal funding to study the impact of video games on children's cognitive development."

His partner, Democratic Senator Joe Biden, rarely stands on technology and business issues (his forte is in foreign policy). In battles between consumers and record and movies industries, he is historically anti-consumer. For gamers, that could translate into support for publisher-backed ideas like digital rights management and anti-piracy laws similar to those for song and film thieves.

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