President elect Barack Obama's first day in office Tuesday will bring gamers one step closer to the White House.
This Christmas Obama bought his family a Wii, something he plans to have set up in the family's main TV room on the second floor of the White House. His daughters both own DS.
This morning I stumbled across an article written by a fourth grade student at Jewett School of the Arts. In the article Olivia Yeager wrote a story about hanging out with Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia. Sasha, who was born the same year as Tristan, and her sister ended up misplacing their DS in the White House.
Yeager writes about the hunt for Nintendo's portable through the Oval Office, around secret service agents and down the main hall. The hunt ended, Yeager says, when Obama walked into the play room and handed over their DS.
It's a scene that's played out several times in my house, minus the trappings of state and bodyguards.
Helping his daughters find their missing gaming consoles doesn't make Obama a gamer, but he's certainly aware of video games. He is, like many of his generation, part of a gaming family. The fact that his children play games. The fact that he occasionally plays with them, means that he is at least aware of a culture that many in America are immersed.
I don't expect to find Obama hanging out on Xbox Live or in Playstation Home, or even race against him in Mario Kart Wii, but it's nice to know that for the first time in decades a young family, one with experiences more similar perhaps to my own will be living in the most powerful home in America.
This isn't some sort of key victory for gamers, rather it's a move that brings gaming one step closer to mainstream. As a gamer and a parent of a gamer, I look forward to the day when we no longer have to identify ourselves as "gamers". When talking about Grand Theft Auto IV, or Star Wars Battlefront III on a Monday morning is as typical as discussing the weekend football game or the latest episode of House.
Now to find out what Obama's Brain Age is and when he's going to get Rock Band.