Latest Job Created by the Obama Administration: Video Game Czar

Doug Powers by Doug Powers on April 19th, 2012

This is article 116 of 257 in the topic Education

nullThis new staffer is no doubt charged with finding ways to jam Obama administration propaganda into the nooks and crannies of as many games possible under the guise of “education”:

If you’re training for a new job someday soon with a video game controller in your hands, thank Constance Steinkuehler.

This summer, when your kids’ favorite science museum boasts a new augmented-reality environmental simulation? Same deal.

If in the next few years a video game teaches you anything — how to conserve energy, eat a balanced diet or solve quadratic equations — consider the invisible hand of one of the most unconventional White House hires in recent memory.

Steinkuehler studies video games. Since last September, she has been a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she’s shaping the Obama administration’s policies around games that improve health, education, civic engagement and the environment, among other areas.

So someday if you’re playing “Call of Duty” and Obama pops up to remind you to eat your peas, you can thank Constance Steinkuehler.

President Obama has been critical of parents who don’t set limits on children’s screen time, but he is also coming around to the benefits of well-designed games. In a speech last March at TechBoston Academy, a public middle- and high school, Obama told students he wanted to create “educational software that’s as compelling as the best video game.” He added, “I want you guys to be stuck on a video game that’s teaching you something other than just blowing something up.”

Using the video game industry to push a national agenda makes perfect sense to Ben Sawyer, founder of the group Games for Health. “It’s a strategic asset of the United States,” he says. “Why should we let it sit where it is?”

Screw “Let’s Move,” people — sit on your asses and get indoctrinated all day!

We’ve spent the past three-plus years witnessing the creation of this administration’s debut video game: Grand Theft Economy.

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