New on RedState – Video Gamers: The Latest Pawns of Big Government

My latest RedState post:
A recent Fox News segment concerning federal funding for video games has provoked outrage from gaming news websites, and while the hyperventilating of professional nerds might not seem noteworthy at first glance, the sad spectacle deserves to be revisited because it offers a troubling window into how liberals consolidate political influence over apolitical constituencies.
The National Endowment for the Arts has decided that video games of particular artistic or educational merit can qualify for federal grants, so Fox ran a debate on the decision between Icrontic.com editor-in-chief Brian Ambrozy and conservative radio host Neal Asbury. Admittedly, the Fox anchor wrongly suggested that big-budget action games like “Call of Duty” were the NEA’s focus rather than smaller projects by independent developers, and Asbury didn’t perform particularly well, having little more to offer the discussion besides generic platitudes about runaway spending. But the geek brigade saw something more nefarious at work.
Kotaku.com’s Owen Good complained that Fox had “no intention of” respecting the “gaming-as-art point of view.” CJ Smillie of GameRant.com criticized Fox for “attacking” the “idea of games as an art form.” At EscapistMagazine.com, Tom Goldman accused Fox of “using the general ignorance of the public” about video games “for their own ends.” Ambrozy himself later called the segment “media brainwashing of the highest order,” through which Fox was poisoning its viewers’ minds against “our world and our generation.”
Speaking as both a member of Ambrozy’s generation and an avid gamer, I feel a special obligation to call out nonsense spouted by pompous hacks claiming to represent me. 

There’s Just No Good Spin for This One

Electronic Arts, the publisher behind the NFL’s official Madden video game series, has a problem:

Today, the two finalists for the Madden NFL 12 cover were revealed. It couldn’t have turned out worse for EA. Forget being between a rock and a hard place; EA Sports is trapped between a knife and a gun fight: relative unknown Peyton Hillis of the perennially awful Cleveland Browns, or convicted dog-killing pariah and ex-convict Michael Vick. Either EA has to market a game featuring a player the average person cares little about, or they’re hit with animal rights activist protests for a highly controversial cover boy. 

IGN’s Hilary Goldstein has some words of wisdom for EA:
EA made a fatal error in preparation of the Madden cover vote. The person voted to be on the cover only hurts or helps EA. It doesn’t impact a Madden fan’s sponsorship opportunities. It doesn’t affect a gamer’s promotion plans. No one voting stops and thinks, “Man, I better not let Vick win or EA will have a tough time doing a media tour.” Don’t think for a moment that EA ever would willingly put Peyton Hillis or Mike Vick on the cover of Madden. They expected the voters to do the right thing for EA. That’s not how popularity contests work.

The lesson here: never, ever, give people the option to affect your product unless it’s something you can live with. The 32 players in the Madden voting bracket needed to be 32 players EA would gladly have on the cover. Because, as we can see with the final round in this contest, online voters aren’t predictable. Never assume they have the same priorities or business sensibilities of a publicly traded corporation. The public loses nothing by turning on EA and biting them in the ass. 
Me, I’m trying to decide what the worst part of this story is: that Vick’s still part of the NFL, that EA included Vick in the poll, or that enough sports fans still like Vick enough to make him a finalist?

Around the Web

The Iraqis don’t want us to leave yet, and a narrow majority doubts that Barack Obama cares about their situation. Great…

Is Christianity true?

In National Review, Jason Lee Steorts reveals the dark side of Ayn Rand.

I love the video game Portal as much as the next guy, but giving people academic credit for playing it is really pushing it.

Here are two links about alleged right-wing violence not being so right-wing after all. (Hat tip to Ann Coulter)

And here comes backdoor amnesty. Boy, some leadership from the opposition party would be nice….

Around the Web

“The Barack Obama I knew,” according to, er, a Palestinian anti-Zionist activist. Wonderful company this guy keeps….

Political personalities, coming to a Nintendo Wii near you.

Nobody should take pleasure in Ted Kennedy’s recent medical woes, and most conservatives have offered him and his family their condolences and prayers, as well they should. But for John McCain
to go so far beyond that as to say it’s “a great privilege to call” this guilty-of-manslaughter demagogue “my friend” is pathetic.

In the wake of California’s latest same-sex marriage decision, Dennis Prager has some
must-listen segments on the matter.

Pot, meet kettle.

Around the Web

The man, the myth, the legend: Ron Paul.

The “first phase” of the so-called virtual fence
will be delayed “for at least three years.” Here’s a simple idea: 1.) Big wall, 2.) Men with guns on wall. Voila! (Hat tip: Ol’ Broad)

An argument for staying in Iraq from…
Angelina Jolie?!

John McCain’s
legally ineligible to be president? (Uh, no.) Boy, Maverick’s goodwill with the Times sure didn’t last.

Filthy British traitor George Galloway
is at it again.

Terrorist Solidarity Ribbons: and Hollywood wonders why we question their patriotism. (Hat tip: Conservative Grapevine)

Ann Coulter
pays tribute to William F. Buckley.

“Barack Obama is a U.S. Senator from Illinois
who enjoys nap time and finger painting. He is running for president.” Yeah, I really want this guy to defend the nation.

Use the Force…sort of.
New gaming technology reads signals directly from the player’s mind.

Nintendo Hates Mother Earth

When I’m not hitting the textbooks or battling the forces of liberalism, I like to play video games, and my favorite of the Big 3 players in the industry happens to be Nintendo. So imagine my amusement to see this story:

Environmental organization Greenpeace has released its latest Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranks electronics manufacturers by their effect on the environment. Family-friendly Nintendo has appeared on the list for the first time and comes in dead last as the only company to score a zero out of ten.
Greenpeace says it has two demands of electronics companies: 1. clean up your products by eliminating hazardous substances, and 2. takeback and recycle your products responsibly once they become obsolete. The Guide does not consider issues like labor standards or energy use.
Each company is given a score in nine categories like Chemicals Management and Amounts Recycled. Scores can be Good (three points), Partially Good (two points), Partially Bad (one point), or Bad (zero points). Nintendo scored Bad in all nine categories.
Some of the reasons Greenpeace gives for Nintendo’s low scores are: the company’s lack of a policy on its use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic Greenpeace claims poses both environmental and health hazards; the company has no “takeback” policy for consumers to recycle their old Nintendo products.
Nintendo was beaten by other companies on the list like Sony, which scored an eight out of ten, and Microsoft, which fared only slightly better with a 2.7. Sony does have a takeback plan to recycle used Sony products.

Nintendo’s managed to irk the eco-lefties! Y’know, Christmas is just around the corner, and this is yet another reason to
buy a Wii for the right-wing gamer in your life!