Are You Informed?

Staff Blog

 

Yesterday while I was at my day job, a coworker of mine and I, were driving down the freeway. I had the radio station on a local news radio program and they were talking about the upcoming presidential elections. My coworker who tends to be a very biased individual started to ask me questions about who was running for office. While he made it painfully clear that he had no idea about any of the candidates stances on anything, he then proceeded to tell me how he voted by picking the one party he thought most fit with the one and only issue he was concerned about.

“Really?” I asked him. “You don’t even check out the candidates and see which one actually supports your point of view?” He of course responded no and that he just picked by party. I couldn’t help myself; I had to ask him how he could vote by party without even knowing any of the issues or stances. How does he know they even support his viewpoint?

This brings me to my topic. My coworker doesn’t know. He doesn’t know anything because he’s not informed. What does this have to do with gaming? It has everything to do with it.

Right now I’m 35 years old, I have a wife, a house, a job, etc. 15 years ago when I was 20, I didn’t have any of these things (except a job) nor did I have a care in the world. My 20 year old self cared about gaming, hockey, cars, girls, and all sorts of other things young men occupy themselves with. Now that I’m older, social issues actually have an importance to me. Case in point, earlier this year the Supreme Court overturned a law passed by the State of California regarding violent video game sales.

This is my topic, being socially aware of what is going on in our society. I just read an article on CNN that blamed video games for the decline in productivity of men in the U.S. And everyone remembers that damned editorial by Fox News basically calling Mass Effect porn. As an adult gamer things like this piss me off. But it’s a reality in today’s world that we as gamers have to fight for our rights and stand up for ourselves. There are plenty of closed minded people out there that don’t get it and there are more than enough voices in the media that seek to “educate” people about things related to gaming. We as the adult gamers have a responsibility to make our voices heard, and that involves getting educated on the facts of what is going on in today’s politics.

I remember back in the early 90s, MTV kept pushing ads for kids of age to get out, register and vote. I’m going to go a step further. If you’re reading this, and are of voting age, I’m going to ask you to not only register and vote, but to educate yourself on the issues relevant to you. Find out what the politicians position is on not just gaming related issues, but issues that matter to you. Find out how you can help put gaming into a positive light with the non gamers of today. You may not like it but facts are that the future of gaming may very well be related to how well educated we are as a community on what is going on in today’s society, instead of being like my coworker.