Obama on Grand Theft Auto and personal responsibility

by on May 4, 2008 · 9 comments

GamePolitics.com noted that presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama had some comments upon the release of Grand Theft Auto IV this week, and they weren’t actually half bad. Indeed, instead of engaging in the typical game-bashing hysteria we’ve gotten used to, Obama instead focused on the need to find the right balance in terms of getting kids as interested in education as they are in games and other forms of entertainment. (This is something I was just discussing in the comments to another post I made yesterday).

Obama wondered, “How are we giving our kids a thirst for knowledge? And turning off the TV set, and getting them to be engaged and interested, like their future really does matter on how well they do in school.” That’s a good question, and I’ve provided some of my own thoughts on that here.

Importantly, I just want to remind everyone of the very sensible things Obama said when asked at a debate earlier this year about the role of government when it comes to media content. “[T]he primary responsibility is for parents,” he said. “And I reject the notion of censorship as an approach to dealing with this problem.” Better yet, he went on to stress the importance of making sure that parents have the tools to make these determinations for their families:

“[I]t is important for us to make sure that we are giving parents the tools that they need in order to monitor what their children are watching. And, obviously, the problem we have now is not just what’s coming over the airwaves, but what’s coming over the Internet. And so for us to develop technologies and tools and invest in those technologies and tools, to make sure that we are, in fact, giving parents power — empowering parents I think is important.”

He’s got it exactly right. I just wish he’d stress personal responsibility and limited government solutions across the board!

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