Obama: Console era a concern for education

Sunday, 9th May 2010 17:10 GMT By Joe Anderson


US President Barrack Obama has told a group of university students that the current era of Xbox, PlayStation and iPod’s is not always good for education.

Speaking during a commencement speech at Hampton University, Virginia, the president said:

“With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations – none of which I know how to work – information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.

“All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”

The president also went on to stress the importance of a good education to enable students to adapt to “a period of breathtaking change.”

It’s not the first time the president has spoken out against games. Last year he said in a speech to the American Medical Association that they were a “health concern,” adding that we should be “going for a run or hitting the gym, and raising our children to step away from the videogames and spend more time playing outside.”



  1. AliTheBrit19

    Not always good, you could say the same about TV or film or any other media

    It comes down to this, make sure you get your priorities straight, I’m going to have to be revising for exams around the time of Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption, gutted? Yes, but I know that the exams are much more important.

    Anyone who thinks gaming comes first before education would probably do bad in education anyway.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. theevilaires

    Joe Anderson? Is he the new guy on the west coast?

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Joe Anderson

    No I’m here in the UK :)

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Moonwalker1982

    Don’t know about other people, but if i had kids…i certainly wouldn’t be having them playing games all the time. They sure as hell would go outside and play as well. They simply would do both, play some games that are suited for them and play outside. I guess Obama is talking about the worst situation possible in this.

    But surely alot of parents don’t let their children only play games, so i don’t see the problem. But it’s not fair, if there hadn’t been videogames…people would be ‘addicted and stuck’ to movies and tv shows and what not. Come on now.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight



    Its a new tech and seems to be taking up more time because of the novelty. I think thats why politicians are attacking it but atleast Obama is level headed he doesn’t go on a banning spree like some politicians have tried.

    Parents need to start using the parental settings on these systems and make their kids go out in the park, ride a bike etc.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. theevilaires

    #1 said it all and he said it right and whats up Joey :)

    #6 5 years ago
  7. reask

    My daughter loves MW2 in fact they make up there own games on it like mike Myers and different things.
    She plays it when she feels like it and suits her self.

    Some kids that run the street all day dont do that well later in life.
    They become street wise too early imo.
    At the end of the day it is up to the parents to supervise there kids in all things.
    Too much of most things are bad for you.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Johnny Cullen

    You let your daughter play MW2? 8O

    You really are obsessed with it.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. theevilaires

    Someone has to teach him to play the game right Johnny ;)

    #9 5 years ago
  10. reask

    Trust me guys she is good. :)
    Very very good in fact.
    I actually be amazed sometimes at the way she picks people off.
    With me its more a case of should have gone to specsavers. :D

    @ Tea
    Playing a bit of RFOM 2 online atm.
    Pretty good actually.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. polygem

    every time i hear politicians talk about this topic i can´t believe how short sighted they always seem to be. you cannot blame a game for this. politicians are in charge to make this world a better and more enjoyable place. fact is that the world is a pretty fucked up place – maybe not for everyone – but for the majority. if you wont give kids perspectives they will take every chance to escape from the pressure of the real world. videogames are perfect for that. i agree. but you can´t blame the games for that you have to blame the obamas of this world.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight


    Read the post again. He has been clearly stating that people need to go out more, he isn’t saying remove all video games and systems, he is just saying watch the amount we allow our kids or even adults play video games. There is a reason why obesity is on the rise.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. endgame

    nice picture. :)

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Joe Anderson

    @13 Thanks, I thought so too :)

    #14 5 years ago
  15. reask

    I actually meant to say that myself Joe.
    Nice one.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. DeSpiritusBellum

    It’s pretty pathetic when authorities start attributing lifestyle decisions to inanimate objects. I’m no scientist, but usually there’s a fairly cognitive person involved in that process somewhere.

    Has the public out there really gotten so senstive that a politician actually needs to blame appliances for their actions instead of talking directly to the people responsible?

    #16 5 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    Back to earth.

    Obama is a console owner. He is a father. He plays video games with his wife and kids. And on this topic he is right.

    But the media likes to jump on things ralated to politics, leaders, and video games.

    All he is saying is do more then just play games. My wife did a research paper on video games awhile back. World of Warcraft was sighted as the number one cause for collage drop outs amoung males. And this isn’t a new problem because of new tech. I saw the same type of thing during the 90s.

    Some people have a harder time then others keeping video games in check. Now add into that a social enviroment where a gamers friends over indulge and it isn’t too hard to see where it can lead.

    Just last night I had to pull the internet plug on my 17 yr old for playing Halo Reach Beta at 1:30am. It was a school night. And he not only knows better, but doesn’t show this type of behavior on a reg bassis. But he and some friends hooked up and started playing.

    Look forward two years and he is a freshman in collage. I won’t be there to pull that plug, is he going to be able to manage to do the right thing on his own? Or will his grades slip because of video games? Will he drop out all together because of low grades and/or lose of interest?

    Obama is right.

    It is just that it is a bit unrealistic to think that everyone is going to hold the same lofty/noble values on education vs fun. Its a discipline issue really.

    #17 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.