Barack Obama on GTA IV

Barack Obama mentioned GTA IV in a recent speech. He acknowledged that the game isn’t intended for kids, but his greatest concern isn’t with the game’s content, but rather that kids left to be raised by video games rather than spend time outside or doing more uplifting activities. Here’s a snippet of his speech:

“I was just catching the news this morning about Grand Theft Auto, this video game, which is gonna break all records and make goo-gobs of money for whoever designed it.

“Now, this isn’t intended for kids, although I promise you there are kids who are playing it, but these video games are raising our kids…

“Across the board, middle-class, upper-class, working-class kids, they’re spending a huge amount of their time not on their studies, but on entertainment.

“And so part of our job is going to have to be to inspire the entire country to say, ‘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.”


Rather than blaming the content of games, Obama is blaming parents for allowing their kids to live unbalanced lives. If you ask me, this is the correct stance to take. As I grew up, games were less violent, but violence still existed in gaming. As I grew up, however, I was also very involved in sports, was expected to do well in school, and my parents were good to keep an eye on the games I played. As long as they could see that the things I was playing weren’t having an effect on me in a negative way (be it school, physical fitness, or emotional health), they never had a problem with the gaming I did.

The problem isn’t with the games themselves, but rather with the parent that would rather let their 7 yr. old kid spend an extra two or three hours in front of the TV playing games rather than taking them out to the park and teaching them to hit a baseball or throw a football. Kids aren’t going to self-regulate, so parents have to learn to be a bit more proactive and, well, you know, be a parent.

Note: I’m not endorsing Obama for anything nor any other candidate.


It’s good to see someone who doesn’t automatically blame video games for violent youth. A nice change, I think.


gotta say, although there are a lot of things i disagree with Barack as far as his policies, this is really a good step to put the blame where it actually lies. with the parents who decide instead of raising their kids, they let the video game raise their children. so i’ve got to say congrats Obama

Off Topic Forum

damn, first thing he has said that has garnered my respect. Still cant vote for him because i vote with my pocketbook. But still, at least hes rational about video games and putting the fault where it belongs.

Sidenote: I saw a mom and her 13ish year old kid standing in line at midnight, just shook my head….


Finally somebody of power gets that’s it’s the parent’s job to tend to their children, rather than give them 3 hours of E-Babysitter.


When I first read the title of the article I thought someone was pointing out a character that looked like Barack. I agree with Obama’s stance.


We have a problem now with non-gamer parents raising gamer kids. How bad is it going to get when gamer parents start raising kids?



Gamer parents might still do better than non-gamer parents. Simply because they’ll at at least want to play with their kids. I feel the bigger problem isn’t necessarily that kids are playing games, it’s that their parents aren’t involved. The family dynamic isn’t there. Sure doing physical activities would still be better, but parent’s playing with kids could at least be a step in the right direction.


He said it like it is.
He’ll get my vote if he uses the same logic with everything else. But I vote with an informed brain from many sources. Not with the rhetoric of greed.


Young kid: “Hey, can I have the new GTA”

Non-gamer parent: “Video game.. kid thing.. yeah why not” (seems to be the case from all the wee folk playing violent games, shouldn’t be the case, but is)

Gamer parent: “Are you kidding me, I know what’s in there and you aren’t old enough” (or yes, but they keep better control of it).

Knowledge is power :)


you guys are wrong, he’s blaming both the parents and games, tho there’s nothing wrong with playing video games instead of going outside…whats the difference? both are forms of entertainment…just a lot of ppl that play video games arnt good at real stuff , or in GTa’s case, they play video games to vent out anger instead of taking it out on real people


Sausage: Gamer parents will not necessarily be worse at raising kids than non-gamer parents; on the contrary, they may be better at regulating their kids’ gaming time. Gamer parents often know exactly what an awesome game can do to your grades, so they can plan accordingly, and they’re also not as anal with “you’ve been on too long,” and they know how it feels when their kids are just trying to get to the next save point or beat a really hard boss. Also, they’re not as easy to fool, because they know what’s up with games and their ratings, and all the excuses their kids use are the same ones the parents used as kids themselves.


FAKE! no politician has ever said anything intelligent about video games. Total Photoshop.


I’m a single gamer mom and also a tom-boy / sports mom, my son (who is 16) and I spend a lot of time together. We are either playing multi player game on live (yeah for mom-son combo on Halo) or we are out playing 1 on 1. I really don’t see that as taking a lot of effort to spend time with him, because we are doing things together that we both enjoy


I really hope Obama gets elected he comes across as sober, If only Britain had someone like Obama :( we’re stuck with Gordan Brown


Well if god forbid Obama does get elected at least there is one thing I agree with him on. Problem is my wife doesn’t work and I have 2 kids and I have beens saving 5 dollars a week for the last 3 months to buy GTA4. When Barack finishes raising taxes I won’t be able to afford any new video games.


Taxes need raised. Our country is unstable as hell because every damn president we have caters to whining masses.

Or… our military spending needs slashed.
I don’t mean ‘neatly cut’ I mean cut in half at least.

The USA makes up HALF of the worlds military spending.

Think about that. We spend as much by ourselves as the rest of the world combined. Isn’t that a little insane? And we wonder why we can’t afford to live in the world.

So chose… Raise taxes or cut military, I’m fine either way.


wrong (the guy who posted) you dont quite seem to get what he is saying, he’s blaming parents for not being informed about whats in the game, and he’s blaming the parents who dont become active in their kid’s lives. instead of doing family activities, the parents do their own thing and the kid plays video games 24/7. and especially if they are young (8-15) playing violent video games could eventually lead to them becoming so desensitized that they may become violent. parents either need to sit with their children as they play these games, or wait until their child is an appropriate age or maturity to play them. i completely agree with obama’s stance on this. dont blame the content, dont blame the publishers, blame the parents that buy this stuff for underage kids.


Digital, try ringing in a little higher on the tax bracket, then maybe you’ll realize that they don’t need to raise taxes, idiot.


The problem isn’t that taxes need to be raised, it’s that people and corporations in the higher tax brackets need to actually pay their taxes instead of hiding behind shelters.

The Real Truth

@ the truth:

I live in Canada. Everyone smokes pot as a kid. Get over it, it’s marijuana. Would you not vote for a candidate based on the fact that they’ve been drunk before in their life? Marijuana as a substance is no more dangerous than alcohol, if not less so in my opinion. Everyone makes “mistakes” (which I use loosely here) and to hold something as insignificant as ripping a few bowls or smoking a joint against someone is simply petty. Try it, you might be less uptight ;)

I digress. Well said Obama.


I am not anything close to a fan of Obama (nor Hilary for that matter) despite being a registered democrat. But I must say that this statement by him makes me happy that someone in a place of “power” realizes where the true fault lies.

I am a Gamer, Father and an Educator.


My mom didn’t care if the game was violent, she just wanted me to be at the screen for a limited time per day unless I was doing homework. She figured at least this way, I’ll have a choice to see what else I like out there rather than just playing video games or watching shows from the 80s all over again.


Don’t vote for Obama. He wants to end corporate welfare. I’m with you guys, we should keep it how it is. Screw the little guy, big corporations are what pays us all anyway, give them all the money.


Well i would also agree. I’m quite the gamer, but when i was younger my parents taught me that it was ok to play games and have fun with them as long as my studies were done and i was keeping good grades i would rather enjoy seeing someone like obama in office to help get parents back in line

Aerandir Calmcacil

It has nothing to do with politics. He’s only trying to reel in the approval of parents. Good thought, still, but that should already be in the minds of the parents of the nation. Fact is: most parents are dumb when it comes to their children’s entertainment. It’s their fault, and THEY need to fix it. Not the politicians. Parents need to act like PARENTS, and politicians need to worry about the nation as a whole, and not try to rule the parents’s control of their kids.

that guy

i agree with Aerandir, but the problem is the parents aren’t doing anything about it, so a political figure preaching it is probably the best we will get for a while.


well all of you are making good points about the situation, but noone is really making a SOLUTION to this problem. who cares about the blame when this is occur RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! make the effort to stop this. i understand that people love these GTA series, but, from my point of view, which probably doesnt matter in this comment,i dont understand the addiction with GTA. i believe that it is teaching the player that they can get away with what they are doing as long as they can steal a car and maneuver away from the cops … anyways, is doesnt really interest me … i am 17, but i do understand the points of games … to stimulate the minds of the player(s). besides, doesnt the damn game get boring??? its the same damn thing over and over again ..


if you can read something like that and listen to his speeches and don’t hear the voice of a true man for once and not a politician then you have issues. Its no doubt that parents are too blame but its hard to get them to admit to any faults, as stubborn of as bush on iraq.


While I agree that, yes, it is the parents fault for letting the kid buy the game… at the same time, the game is still at fault to a certain extent… and i’m not just talking about kids here anymore either. Since when did picking up a hooker, doing her, then running her over for your money back become fun? I understand the whole rush of being a thug who steals things and kills people… you’re doing stuff that’s against the morality of the real world with no concequences… I even think we need a little bit of that in our lives, a way to releave stress of a world with so many rules, but somethings just push it a little too far.

Also, i’ve noticed a couple people complaining about Obama raising the taxes… yeah, well guess what, for those of you who voted Bush back in… that’s kinda your fault. He has cranked up the national debt so much, Obama doesn’t have much of a choice. He’s undoing your mistakes. I’m obviously talking to the majority of you since Bush needed the majority to get the debt up that high.


Politics aside – He’s absolutely right. Too many times parents use the television or the gaming console as a baby sitter and don’t pay attention to what their kid or kids are doing. It’s not the fault of companies like Take 2 Interactive or Rockstar or Ubisoft or Sony or Microsoft. The blame begins with the parents at home. So – your kid was playing GTA for 12 hours a day? Well where the heck were you? What were you doing? Why didn’t you pay more attention to your child and know what was goig on? Take part in their activities instead of brushing them off. Want to know what your child is thinking and doing? Become a part of their lives and talk to them about what their doing – even if you pretend to be interested.

I’ve played Pac Man and Donkey Kong for years. I’m 40 years old and I have yet to feel a desire to run around eating power pellets and chasing ghosts or chasing down monkeys running off with damsels in distress. Likewise, I play a lot of GTA. I don’t have any urge to go out and hold up people for their cars, motorcycles or get into a shoot out with the police or mafia. Anyone that is going to go run around and attempt to do those things already had a crossed wire in their head long before they played any kind of video game.

john doe

i think he went a long way to getting the gamer vote…

pity the ignorant christians wont like that…. but i guess they wouldnt vote for a blackman anyway.

ed clayton

oi fuck you mate
i swear i’m proper gonna fuck you up
you dirty little tart don’t think you’ll get away with it
i fucking hate you, you butters prick


@ Ed Clayton
Wow going on a swear rampage sure is the peaceful thing to do, dumbass. God, the hypocrisy is overwhelming. One more reason I hate religion. Nice job representing your faith dickface.

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