Posted on April 9, 2008, Stephany Vote for Your Favorite Political Hypocrite
Politicians have always been known to flip flop, try to pass foul laws, bow down to underhanded special interest groups, commit adultery with hookers, interns and Marilyn Monroe, and a whole host of other unscrupulous shenanigans since time began. However, with the success of the gaming industry causing a complete change in the world’s lifestyle and choices, comes new fuel for politicians to add to the ever growing firestorm of outcry over violence in video games.
GamePolitics has been tracking “the nexus of politics and video games” for over the past three years, and I must say they have done a bang up job of it. Today, while perusing their site, I came across a nice little poll they are conducting on who is the Biggest Political Hypocrite. The five listed below are the ones I pulled from their site, and GP felt that these five were the ones that stood out more than others of their ilk.
- Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D): Mayor Menino led a 2006 movement to have ads for GTA: Vice City Stories removed from public transportation and got the local transit agency to commit to never again carrying an ad for an M-rated game. Now he is at the center of a legislative proposal that would equate violent games with pornography. In between attacks on video games, Menino hopes to lure game developers to set up shop in Boston.
- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R): The man who signed California’s 2005 video game into law, and ordered the state to appeal a 2007 ruling by a U.S. District Court judge that the law was unconstitutional, is himself the star of many a violent movie. What’s more, he appears in character in several violent games based on the Terminator films.
- Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D): Gov. Sebelius threw her support behind an unsuccessful 2006 attempt to legislate video games. Earlier this year it was revealed that Gov. Sebelius’ son John created a Grand Theft Auto-like board game called Don’t Drop the Soap and marketed it from the taxpayer-funded Governor’s residence.
- New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D): During his 2006 election campaign Spitzer railed against video game content, saying, “Nothing under New York State law prohibits a fourteen-year old from walking into a video store and buying! a game like ,Grand Theft Auto,’ which rewards a player for stealing cars and beating people up. Children can even simulate having sex with a prostitute!” As everyone now knows, it was the “sex with a prostitute” part that brought Spitzer himself down in 2008.
- British Labour MP Keith Vaz: Vaz got into the video game violence debate in 2004 when a 14-year-old constituent, Stefan Pakeerah, was brutally murdered. Vaz alleged that the controversial Rockstar title Manhunt inspired the crime. A Scotland Yard investigation, however, established no such link. Vaz would go on to criticize Rockstar’s Bully and Manhunt 2 games. While he has attacked the make-believe crime of video games, Vaz, as documented by the BBC, carries significant real-world ethical baggage.
As of this post, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has the lead with 686/1508 votes. You yourself can vote by clicking through the link below. Oh, and for those who did not “get” the photo caption above, it is a Futurama reference.