Quick quotes: President Obama says read a book, not play a game

Tuesday, 21st June 2011 14:04 GMT By Johnny Cullen

“We know that every father has a personal responsibility to do right by their kids – to encourage them to turn off the video games and pick up a book; to teach them the difference between right and wrong; to show them through our own example the value in treating one another as we wish to be treated. And most of all, to play an active and engaged role in their lives.” – Barack Obama in a Father’s Day letter from The White House.

Thanks, Spong.



  1. RockTwist

    I’ll compromise and read an instruction manual.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Cee

    President Obama says read a book, not play a game

    Hmmmz…I bet he didn’t say that when he had his face plastered all over Burnout’s paradise city

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Zurtech

    Does playing a game of a movie of a book count?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. HeavenlyGamer

    How about this one Obama: make love not war. Hypocritical prick.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Golden

    Last night I played Puzzle Quest 2 whilst listening to an audiobook, does that count?

    #5 4 years ago

    Mein Kampf?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. minxamo

    Fuck off, Obama.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. GwynbleiddiuM

    Someone has started his re-election campaign awfully early…

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Blerk

    I do both. Of course, Obama may not have time for that, what with him running half the world and all.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. thyho

    i dont wanna be president.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. MadFingerz

    Video games and Dragonball taught me the difference between right and wrong. Where’s your God now Obama?

    #11 4 years ago
  12. DSB

    That’s a pretty far fetched headline, given that he said nothing of the sort.

    I think encouraging people to pick up a book is a pretty good thing in a time where most of peoples common knowledge comes from a 30 second soundbite, or 2 minute segment on some news show stocked with journalists that are meant to do little more than look pretty.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    “turn off the video games and pick up a book” We have Wikipedia now, you hobo! No wonder the educational system of a states is such a joke.

    “to teach them the difference between right and wrong” Thank you very much, but i got Mass Effect for that!

    I guess he didn’t play Witcher 2 then.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. spiderLAW

    Obama is a joke of a president. Most of what comes out of that guy is pure crap. Although he is right about this… some ways. Except, he shouldnt exclude video games from the list of good ways to bond with your children. Thats just being ignorant (he’s good at that).

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Blerk

    You know…. you really should all be reading books. Seriously.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. deathgaze

    I support Obama, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard him associating video games with underachievement (actually, it’s more like the 4th time). It’s kinda frustrating. To be fair, however, I think he’s trying to encourage parents to promote more academic leisure activities to kids. To be sure, a kid who spends all his time playing games (video or otherwise) will not be a healthy kid. But who is to say that some video game play isn’t a healthy developmental activity?

    #16 4 years ago
  17. IL DUCE

    Listen relax guys…he’s saying shit father’s need to tell their kids, and since I am not yet a father it doesn’t apply to me so I don’t really care…but its good advice because little kids getting addicted to the shit like crack (not saying we don’t) but its bad for kids that age to throw fits of rage and frustration when they are told to turn off the x box when its bed time…which is what I’ve seen from my cousin’s 7 year old son the past 5 months I’ve been living with them lol…and I’ve also seen it from the 5 year old and the 10 year old and even the 12 year old (who now just accepts his fate and turns it off)…

    So give Obama a break, its good advice for father’s out there, I didn’t play video games as much as I do now until I graduated college three years ago…

    Plus what the hell else do you expect him to say he’s the freaking President of the United States…

    #17 4 years ago
  18. RockTwist

    Eh… to be honest I read it like he was saying ‘instead of playing games all the time, encourage them to read once in a while too” rather than “Video Gamez is teh evilz!!.

    Maybe they could buy their kids an Amazon Kindle and they could pretend it’s a handheld.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. DSB

    Oy gevalt. You can’t take things like that literally. He’s not saying that videogames aren’t fun and that people shouldn’t play them, he’s using videogames as a rhetorical device aimed at helping a generation of kids who quite obviously spend far more time indoors shooting things or telling people what they had for lunch on Facebook, when they might as well be outdoors shooting things (depending on the gun laws of their state) to eat for lunch.

    But then there is a huge contradiction in the fact that he’s used social media to campaign far more effectively than any other president, and the whole “first president with a Blackberry” thing.

    That doesn’t make his judgement any less sound on the matter, though.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Stephany Nunneley

    @16 He says this shit at least once every month or so. He’s a broken record.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. IL DUCE

    @14 So you say he’s a joke and most of what comes out of his mouth is pure crap but he is right on that point, yet also consistently ignorant? (doesn’t make much sense to me)…and he never said don’t use video games to bond with your children (which I agree is a fine method of bonding, especially if a father is separated from his wife and child yet can play over x box live, or pc, or psn with the kid each night instead of just seeing the kid for the weekend or whatever the situation may be – which is the situation one of my good friends is currently in and uses to bond with his 8 year old son)…but to be honest, kids do need to put down the video games and read something every once in a while, dialogue screens and subtitles on video games isn’t enough unless you want a bunch of monkeys that can go 25-0 in CoD but can’t read, or if they can read can’t understand what they are reading…there is nothing wrong with kids playing video games but with the DS’s and iPhone’s and everything else out there is almost an over-exposure to kids these days and they need to do well in school or else the next generation will be a bunch of 40 year olds living in their parent’s basements…its all about balance and moderation, just like anything else in life, especially for kids with impressionable minds, especially at younger ages

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Mike

    He’s not wrong.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Hunam

    Sounds like a certain president couldn’t get past the bit with the dragon at the start of the witcher 2.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Fin

    Of course kids should read books instead of playing games. Being literate and enjoying reading is far more important than entertainment.

    Gaming is something you can pick up whenever you feel like. Reading is not.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Mike

    Why not? That’s exactly what you can do with a book.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Hunam

    Planescape: Torment is clearly in both camps here though.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Blerk

    I think he means ‘learning to read’, not just picking up a book. :-)

    #27 4 years ago
  28. IL DUCE

    Yeah…my cousin’s 8 year old has a lot of trouble reading and I assume because his hands are constantly filled with an x box controller or a DS, and at times action figures, but they really need to work on getting him to read…I hear him struggling to read subtitles on his Pokemon games or whatever, and while he will recognize a word linked specifically to the game he won’t be able to pronounce simpler words that are everyday terms…so just things like that show me that its true, you got your whole life to play games you don’t need to fill your childhood with games you probably shouldn’t even be playing half the time…but that’s on the kid’s parents

    #28 4 years ago
  29. OrbitMonkey

    Tbh any sentiment Obama expresses about videogames not being that great for teh kidz, are usually vindicated by the downright daft responses made by some of the guys here… o_O

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Freek

    It is possible to do both, infact Penny Arcade, probably the biggest foul mouth in the gaming industrie, regularly runs articles recomending books and authors.
    Reading and gaming are not mutually exclusive.

    /Captain Obviouse away

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Moonwalker1982

    You mean history books Obama? Nah man..i rather spend my time useful instead of reading shit that is for 90% or more….lies.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Dimaco

    Oh com’on! Reading a book does no harm! He can be right about that.. Only thing is, one thing does not RULE OUT the other!
    I enjoy palying games (a lot!) and reading… so what now?

    #32 4 years ago
  33. NightCrawler1970

    Come with an affordable health-insurance, does it really takes 4 fucking years????

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Andreas2402

    Good, I just recently bought Planescape Torment, I hope that counts :-]

    #34 4 years ago
  35. spiderLAW

    You sir read way too deep into my comment.
    And by the way, it is completely possible to be ignorant and wrong most of the time and still be capable of making good decisions.


    And i agree with his statement (and your opinion). I never said i didnt. Ever. so telling me that i didnt read what he said correctly and then you not reading my comment correctly makes you seem like you got something else bothering you.
    If you follow Obama at all, he doesnt have much respect for the video games industry. He constantly tries to put it down. So my statement meant “What he says right now is true, kids need to read books and not focus all attention on video games. But knowing Obama, this is another attempt to take a jab at video games. How about taking a jab at Television and the other forms of media….He will never make that jab because the media supports him and does its best to make him look like a Superstar. He’s got swag you know ;)”

    #35 4 years ago
  36. gamestx

    I’ll read and game. Problem solved.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. neon6

    #31 Oh no you didn’t!

    #37 4 years ago

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