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The Change We Need: Gaming Measures Worth ...
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 04, 2008   |   Episode 85 (Show Archive)  


Don't just say you're going to vote like Paris Hilton, actually get out there and vote ... after you read this article!
Today people from all walks of life are taking time out of their day to do their civic duty and vote. Will we see this nation's first black President? Perhaps instead we'll see our first female Vice President. Either way this will be an election to watch; certainly one for the ages. Of course, there's more to this election than just picking a new President, we are also going to vote on a number of Propositions, Referendums and Initiatives. For example, in my state there's an initiative to legalize doctor assisted suicide. Each state has these types of measures that we the voters get to voice our opinions on.

As I sat here filling out my mail-in ballot I realized that there are a number of measures I would like to see added to the ballot. Unfortunately most of them are about video games. So I decided to throw out six examples of political-themed measures that I wouldn't mind putting to a vote. You can't vote here, but maybe if we get enough signatures we can toss these on a ballot for the next time around. Here are just six examples of things that really annoy me, see if you would vote for any of these measures if they were actually on your state's ballot.

Referendum L - Ban on Presidential Based Video Games

Relax John C. Calhoun, there's nothing in this measure saying we can't have a game based on a Vice President!
Summary: This measure is to make sure that no more video games are ever based on either a sitting, former or future President of the United States of America. This measure does not include cameos by sitting Presidents, however the central game should not be focused on him/her or his/her immediate family (including pets).

Reason to Vote: This madness has to stop; somebody has to put an end to sitting (and former) Presidents in video games. No I'm not talking about the times that Hillary Clinton showed up in NBA Jam or when Ronald Reagan ordered the Bad Dudes to save the world. Instead I'm talking about video games that are (for whatever reason) based around the life and times of a President of the United States of America. Actually, I'm specifically talking about a game called Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill. That's right, it's a game based on Bill Clinton's cat!

I'm fine with video games showing me full frontal Raiden nudity. I'm fine with Manhunt showing me body parts being cut off. I'm even fine with whatever Space Giraffe was supposed to be. What I'm not fine is when you take a President and reduce it to a Super NES video game. Not because I like Bill Clinton or feel that it's beneath him, judging by Monica Lewinski there wasn't much quality beneath our 42nd President. My problem with the game is that it's just stupid. In the game you, as a cat, fight famous former Republicans, including Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush.

And who exactly is this aimed at? It was a cute and cuddly 2D platformer that seemed to be aimed squarely at the younger set, yet how many kids are going to understand any of the political humor? For whatever reason (either Kaneko shutting down

Somebody really needs to upload this game to the internet!
its U.S. branch or Nintendo stepping in), Socks the Cat was cancelled soon after the project was completed. However, if what I played at the 1993 Winter Consumer Electronics Show was any indication, then it's imperative that we pass this referendum immediately.

Then Again: Why would you possible want to vote on a bill that would make it impossible for there to be an Obama game? Imagine how cool it would be to play as the man who (in a few hours) may become our nation's first black President? It can be a hack 'n slash action game, where you first take on Alan Keyes in your Senate race and then move on to slaying the evil Hillary Clinton. The game ultimately ends up where you find yourself in a head to head fight against a POW and his incredibly stupid (and sarcastic) running mate. Throw in that cool chainsaw gun from Gears of War and you have the best game ever. Of course, with my luck we would get the George W. Bush game. Oh the horror!

Proposition 420 - Just Say "No" To New Drugs

I don't care how many drugs they had on them, there's no reason for two cops to go around killing hundreds of people!
Summary: This measure limits the types of drugs and/or alcohol that can be shown in video games. This measure is fine with the current forms of drugs (including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, horse tranquilizers, etc), but frowns on the idea of creating brand new "fake" drugs. The people propose that we should use all of the existing drugs before we create new ones. It's for the children.

Reason to Vote: Drugs used to be taboo in video games; they were usually called by different names (Resident Evil), exist in a way where the player isn't harmed in any way (Super Mario Bros.), or had to be destroyed at any and all costs (NARC). However, lately drugs are all over the place. Thanks to hard hitting crime games like Grand Theft Auto and True Crime, drugs have turned into something normal and common place. Just like movies and television, video

Well, for starters he wouldn't play NARC!
games have their occasional drugged-up characters, yet we're at a point where these people aren't demonized for getting high. In fact, in some games drugs are so common that it's almost weird to see somebody not take a hit or shoot up.

Lately I've noticed that video games are going past the common drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.) and concocting their own weird creations. The most recent example of this was THQ's Saints Row 2, which featured a whole sub-plot about creating the most potent type of drug and controlling the streets with it. Unfortunately this is not an isolated situation. It seems like more and more games are trying to make bigger and more powerful drugs, which we feel is the wrong direction.

Dude, it looks like you still might be a drug addict!
Let's be honest, the drugs that are out there are plenty powerful. There's no reason to find a drug even stronger and more damaging than crystal meth, the real thing is bad enough. Have you seen what that stuff does to your skin and mouth and ... ick, I can't even finish imagining that. Yet this is one thing that has not been explored in video games. Oh sure, we get the casual pot use, but what harm is that going to do? We shouldn't move on to even harder drugs until we explore the horrible ramifications of doing meth. And did I mention that Sarah Palin's Alaska is the U.S. capital for meth production. This political ad was not endorsed by John McCain.

Then Again: If there's one thing that a life of heavy drug taking has taught me, it's that drug users are really creative. Just look at The Beatles or David Lynch. Better still, a high person will invent just about anything to get higher. "Hey man, I just made a bong out of this couch." "Whoa dude, I just made a bong out of this Genesis cart." "Like, wow dude, I made a bong out of my head." You get the point. There's something nice about the idea that these inventive drug users are trying their hardest to come up with a bigger and better drug that, with any luck, doesn't have the same side effects of meth or heroin. It's still kind of creepy, but there's something nice about it nonetheless.



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