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What Obama did for gaming and why we should be grateful

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Obama might be out of office, and Trump in, but we have to respect just what Obama did for gaming as it is important to take note of the changes he made. Obama was constantly working on protecting gaming in an art form, and as a medium for free and protect speech. He not only used gaming as a research method, but he worked hard to make sure that it was not seen as a form of violence. According to Polygon, here are the most important things that Obama did for gaming during his term in office.

  • Video games were declared free and protected speech giving them the same protection as a book. This also meant that their sale to minors could not be criminalized.
  • Obama gave the federal government the opportunity to investigate if there was a real link between violence and video games. Of which they declined to investigate.
  • Obama grew from using video games as a motivational point in his speeches, saying that you should "put down the video games and do something with your life", to fully embracing gaming and becoming a "huge geek", as DeLoura states. 
  • Obama worked on getting video games into necessary meetings by pushing people from the sciences into these departments. This worked in making sure that video games had a place at the table, and a chance to be used in ways that could make a significant impact. 
  •  The White House Game Jam was the first ever gaming event that took place in the White House. The event was started by Obama and was used to teach gamers about Obamacare through the Twitch stream that streamed directly from the event.
  • Obama was always willing to learn more about gaming technology and how he could direct this tech in useful directions. 
  • Omaba showed a great interest in the Folding@Home project that saw PlayStation consoles around the world be used as a collective processor to research disease. This got him interested in tackling the issues like literacy, childhood aboesity, and STE education with the help of his gaming guru Mark Deloura.
  • Obama was responsible for boosting morale during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which the "violence in video games" debate was reignited. He sent DeLoura to set up a meeting with developers from all around the world to discuss the matter, and learn about the possible link between thr two.

Often Obama would look at gaming and the technology around it all and ask himself if it could in any way be used for good. Many people that worked with and around him respected his forward-thinking ways, and his approach to technology and gaming. We should be grateful that he tried in every way to push gaming in a more positive light, be it directly, or with the help of his "gaming gurus" Mark Deloura, and Erik Martin. The amount of work he did for gaming was at his own will, and for the love of the medium, more than anything else.

“We may one day have a more video game embodied president in the future, but I don’t know if it will be anytime soon that we have one that is as tech forward as was this president of the United States.”

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