President Obama says games can fuel tech innovations

President Obama suggested at a recent online "Fireside Hangout" that programs in high schools could use tools like video games to get kids engaged in the field of technology.

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President Obama's State of the Union took place this week, but a far less publicized address was his first "Fireside Hangout" using Google Plus. He fielded questions from the more tech-savvy crowd, and at one point suggested that video games can help spur on technical innovations by getting kids interested in the subject.

"Look at Mark Zuckerberg," Obama said (via VentureBeat). "I was sitting next to him at dinner a couple of years ago, and he said he taught himself programming primarily because he was interested in games. If we set programs in high schools that engage kids because they get it, they won’t be just sitting there slouching in back of rooms while someone is lecturing.

"Given how pervasive computers and the internet is now, how integral it is in our economy, and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure they actually know how to produce stuff and not simply consume stuff," he continued.

The President didn't outline any specific plans for these programs. However, it does signal a receptive attitude towards the positive qualities of games at a time when video games are facing increased scrutiny for their violent content.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 15, 2013 7:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, President Obama says games can fuel tech innovations.

    President Obama suggested at a recent online "Fireside Hangout" that programs in high schools could use tools like video games to get kids engaged in the field of technology.

    • reply
      February 15, 2013 7:33 AM

      wow its like he is trying to encourage more school shootings.. anyone remember dylan klebold's "innocent" interest in video games? Where he made a map of the school for the Shooting Game "Doom"....

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        February 15, 2013 7:46 AM

        A guy I went to highschool with built a counterstrike map of the school. He went on to be a software engineer and a born again christian. Its a dangerous world out there!

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          February 15, 2013 7:46 AM

          praise be!!!

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          February 15, 2013 7:55 AM

          I started an AD&D campaign with the map of my high school. I don't think I've killed anyone.

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        February 15, 2013 8:10 AM

        Shooting Game Murder Simulator.

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        February 15, 2013 8:20 AM

        agreed it's not enough to give people free phones free cable hell in some states you now get free marijuana if you're on welfare BUT

        now he wants to teach kids video games hmmm obummer think that might back fire? yeah just might. then again he doesn't want people too smart or they might realize hes ruining the constitution stealing are rights etc

        -sir you've been diagnosed with obamaphobia. the cure is two tea party senators and impeachment and call me in 2016!!!

        ****

        -no thanks, i already have a savior

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          February 15, 2013 10:33 AM

          When you went to school did you remember playing games like Oregon Trail, The Where is Carmen Sandiego or Math blasters or some of the typing games. Those are a few games I remembered seeing being played in schools on Apple IIs and Windows 3.11 machines.

          There is a benefit to using games as teach aides. They shouldn't be the sole focus but they definitely help present some ideas or to keep people in engaged in the subject. Its too bad people get way too paranoid and hyped to see it as anything else.



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        February 15, 2013 8:49 AM

        I am making a map of Shacknews.com but don't know where to place the BFG.

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          February 15, 2013 9:06 AM

          Hide it behind the Chatty link

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            February 15, 2013 9:37 AM

            Good call! Oh, and no offense, but to finish the map, users must clip through a wall and destroy the decapitated head of John Romero John Keefer.

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              February 15, 2013 11:43 AM

              OK, I can live with that (took me forever to find that area, lol)

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              February 15, 2013 12:13 PM

              Please name the secret boss "Placeholder headline"

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          February 15, 2013 9:40 AM

          BFG should never be hidden. it should be in plain sight in a large star shaped room, on a high pedestal that can only be lowered after pressing a switch behind the yellow door, and when you touch it the walls come down and an army of imps and cacodemons start shooting at you

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        February 15, 2013 11:41 AM

        ^___________________________^

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        February 15, 2013 4:41 PM

        FYI Doom is was a popular murder simulator, not a game. I know this because I saw it in facebook

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      February 15, 2013 7:59 AM

      He's right. I got into programming and science because of games on that old C64 and Byte magazine.

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      February 15, 2013 8:16 AM

      Weird. He doesn't even have to be nice anymore but he still is.

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      February 15, 2013 11:05 AM

      Oh yeah, TONS of people go into computing science because of video games.

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        February 15, 2013 11:38 AM

        Actually, I pursued a computer science degree because of my love for video games.

        Of course, I wasn't any GOOD at it, but I gave it a shot.

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        February 15, 2013 12:03 PM

        I haz a CS degree (and a great career) all because we couldn't have a Nintendo. I learned to make my own games in basic on the Apple IIe and sucked at Mario. Instead my dad had to test my randomly generated mazes and try to understand my elaborate gosubs.

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          February 15, 2013 3:51 PM

          I remember my dad playing with GWBasic as I sat on his lap on our old Eagle PC way back in the mid 80's.

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            February 15, 2013 4:22 PM

            He pretty much just wrote "Hello World" but it blew my mind at the time...he was just playing around with some stuff someone showed him at work or something (he worked for the phone company and someone brought in a luggable or something and was playing around with it).

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        February 15, 2013 3:50 PM

        DOOM ended up putting me down the path that resulted in my getting a CS degree and becoming a programmer.

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      February 15, 2013 11:17 AM

      Obama is a c^&*. YAY CISPA, YAY. This guys got balls

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      February 15, 2013 12:07 PM

      "...I want to make sure they actually know how to produce stuff and not simply consume stuff." is such an awesome burn

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      February 15, 2013 2:16 PM

      One week he says Video Games are the Devil, now they are can spur Technical Innovations. I hate Politicians.

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        February 15, 2013 5:12 PM

        When did he say video games are the "Devil"?

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          February 15, 2013 5:26 PM

          To name a few, on education, exercise, and gun violence he's taken shots at videogames.

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            February 15, 2013 5:57 PM

            Taken shots? When?

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              February 15, 2013 9:23 PM

              HE doesn't take shots, he lets his Congressional lackeys do that. His popularity is based entirely on his talent in saying "I kind of agree with you in some ways" to everybody, while letting the rest of his party take the heat for actually doing stuff. Like with the health care law and the sequester, and here with gaming. Note how he "didn't outline any specific plans", yet everyone now thinks he's pro-gamer. When he's talking to a group of retirees, he'll talk about fighting the violence in games, without outlining specific plans. Ambiguity is his mode and modus.

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                February 15, 2013 10:04 PM

                You really don't have any idea how Congress or politics in general work, please stop talking.