ECA’s Letter to Obama

Both during the presidential campaign and since then, Barack Obama has urged parents to turn off video game systems. Specifically he has repeatedly hated on the XBOX 360, telling numerous audiences that parents need to “put away the XBOX.”

The Entertainment Consumers Association (which, despite its name, appears to simply be a spinoff group of the Entertainment Merchants Association) has a prewritten email form people can use to e-mail the White House about his continuing use of negative stereotypes about videogames and videogamers.

As a parent of a 7-year-old, I see no reason to “put away the XBOX.” In fact, I think our Xbox 360 plays an extremely important educational function along with the obvious entertainment and fun videogames bring.

As an aside, and I’m sure this is not the case with all children, Obama has also linked videogame playing to physical fitness problems. Children turning into couch potatos playing video games all day presumably don’t get enough exercise. I only wish I could get my kid to sit on the couch while playing a video game. Instead he seems to think the Xbox is a Wii and that the more animated and elaborate his movements with the controller are during play, the more successful he will be onscreen.