Thursday, March 13, 2008

Geek Out the Vote:
Which Presidential Candidate Has the Most Geek Cred?

As you may have heard, there's a Presidential race underway in the US of America. It can be tough at times to wade through the rhetoric and figure out what these smooth talking politicians actually think about the issues that matter to you. And so with your best interests in mind, here is a rundown of how the current Presidential forerunners (with character comparisons for instant Geek identification) feel about you and your Geekanerdy hobbies.

Hillary Clinton
Geekanerd equivalent: Sue Storm, The Invisible WomanA long time living in the shadow of her Fantastic husband has given her unique insight into the inner workings of "the system."

Hit the jump for the full rundown of candidates...

Hillary the Geekanerd:

Hillary once had a fund-raiser thrown for her by Stan Lee Media founder Peter Paul. She later disavowed knowing the guy when he turned out to be a criminal, but not before she promised Stan The Man himself that he could be Secretary of Defense because superheroes would be more effective than a missile defense system:

Via Comic Book Resources.

She has also received a large donation of $4,600 from Electronic Arts executive Steve Schnurr, who also organized (along with ESA, ESRB, and E3 founder Doug Lowenstein) a $1000/plate fundraising breakfast for Clinton in 2005. (Source)

Lastly, take a look at this picture. If that ain't a Buffy fan I don't know what is:
Hillary the Anti-Geekanerd:
Clinton has long been an outspoken critic of violence in video games. She teamed with Joe Lieberman (the demi-arch-nemesis [behind Jack Thompson] of videogamers worldwide) to introduce the Family Entertainment Protection Act in 2005. The act would have imposed fines of $1000 for the first offense of selling games rated Mature to a minor, and $5000 for subsequent offenses. The bill also required an investigation into whether the ESRB was rating games accurately (a concern after the Grand Theft Auto "Hot Coffee" scandal.)

When the bill failed to become law, she and Lieberman tried again in 2006 with a bill meant to pressure the CDC into studying the "impact of electronic media use" on the minds of children. (Source)

Now I'm all for keeping Mature games out of the hands of young kids, so I don't want to really fault her for that. But if an anonymous source that contacted Kotaku's Editor-in-Chief Brian Crecente is to be believed, Clinton has toyed with the idea of introducing a Video Games Tax, much like the tax on cigarettes. THAT, I can not excuse. (Source)

Barack Obama
Geekanerd equivalent: Luke Skywalker

A younger man somewhat lacking in experience but with big dreams and a mysterious ability to bend people's minds. Those in power are impressed by his quick development but remind him he is not a Jedi yet.

Obama the Geekanerd:
Obama has received a total of $10,432 in donations from workers in the video game industry. No big wigs, but a lot of little guys sure add up. (Source)

He is also an outspoken supporter of net neutrality, which is a very important issue for us lowly internet dwellers. (Source)

He likens himself to Superman:

Obama the Anti-Geekanerd:
Obama has made quite a few references to video games being a signifier of laziness: "It’s time for you to turn off the TV and stop playing GameBoy. We’ve got work to do." (Source) Work to do, schmork to do, stop playing the damn GameBoy so that you can start playing the vastly superior Nintendo DS. Obama is also quoted as saying "We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time." (Source)


Lest you think this anti-gaming talk is just rhetoric meant to aim the political efficacy of the housewife demo in his direction, Obama actually puts his money where his mouth is. When he received a $500 donation from ESA, ESRB, and E3 founder Doug Lowenstein, Obama sent the check back. (Source) You know a politician feels strongly about something when they refuse cash money.

John McCain
Geekanerd equivalent: Steve Rogers, Captain America

An aging, conservative war hero.

McCain the Geekanerd:
McCain has received a $4,600 donation from Brian Kelly, Co-Chairman of Activision (Source), and is also supported by Red Sox player Curt Schilling, who own a stake in start-up MMO publisher 38 Studios. (Source)

He has the support of a killer cyborg from the future:
And he, as well, likens himself to Superman:
McCain the Anti-Geekanerd:
There really isn't any record of McCain speaking out against the Geekanerdy crap we love, but he is very good friends with Joe Lieberman, who would certainly use a personal relationship with the President to push his anti-game agenda. (Source)

The Verdict:
So what are we to do? None of the candidates seem all that pro-Geekanerd. I had some good stuff about Huckabee playing Guitar Hero but now that he's out of the picture (and I hope I'm not offending any readers by letting out a loud sigh of relief) we're stuck with a bunch of geek haters. Are Geekanerds the final minority? In a political landscape where both our first black President and our first woman President seem within potential reach, when will we see our first Geek President?

4 comments:

Degan said...

um... have you seen Chester A. Arthur??? The guy screams total geek.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/ca21.html

If he had any friends in high school then I'M the next president.

Anonymous said...

Obama's gotten the endorsement of Lawrence Lessig and plans on installing a Chief Technology Officer. Not to mention his largely successful internet campaign. Between the three, I don't think it's any question who the most technology forward is.

Bishop said...

Man I take umbrage to your McCain/Cap parallel. Cap is a basic New Deal Democrat, maybe McCain is a little more Nick Fury.

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