I have done a few political gaming entries in the past here (http://dukecitygamerz.blogspot.com/2008/01/if-white-house-candidates-were-video.html) but after talking to gamers all over the world and seeing some crazy ads using some music no one under 40 would recognize (Mel Torme?), I really think someone should clue in both campaigns to what they can do to get gamers to drop their controllers and leave their keyboards to get their vote.
Here are 5 recommendations for Obama and McCain:
1. Realize gamers aren't just children. We are Gen Xers - some are in their 60s, thank you, and have been gaming since the late '70s. Most of us have families - some of us have mortgages (or in the middle of this foreclosure mess) and spend our money upgrading our PCs to insane levels, dropping $200 to play in a virtual rock band and could head to the polls if you two gave us a good reason to.
2. Don't talk down to gamers. Telling us to drop the controller (Obama) and get outside is a good thing for children, but I am grown. Please, please, PLEASE embrace gamers. We can produce Hollywood blockbuster opening revenues the first day a game is released. Forget lobbyists - go for Reggie Fils-Aimé, Jack Tretton, Cliffy B - instead of the VFW.
3. Gaming isn't just confined to consoles. I bet several of your staffers and volunteers are gamers. They are either playing games in their spare time when they aren't busting their buns for you two, or they are staying loose by playing games on their cell phones, PDAs or DS hidden from your view. They are making a sacrifice for your campaign - at least show them some love.
4. Launch a video game. Cheesy, I bet, but at least you are telling gamers - I so want your vote. Make one where you are a hero of some type, blasting the status quo and energizing tired crowds with hope - or scaring them with the terror threat. Comeon - you two have enough loot to run a couple third-world countries - why not use it to make a game? Long after your campaign is dead, your game will live on - even if it is the butt of jokes.
Lastly, 5. Just be real. Don't fake it - just admit you don't know about gamers but that you want our vote. We are a strong coalition with several different viewpoints, but want basic freedoms like any other voter. Don't lump us into the group of scrubs staying at home with their mums, playing Dungeons and Dragons until the break of day. No, senators, we are a very smart bunch. We can get updates of your campaign on our handheld devices while we are playing games, while we are at the gym, while we are in our cars - or for some of us, even on our gaming console.
Another thing - hitting E3 would have been cherry for both candiates to earn points in our book as well.
Don't overlook us - we could tip the election in your favor.