According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the winner of the first presidential debate, which aired Wednesday night through the company’s Xbox Live Election 2012 Hub, was Mitt Romney, who generally scored above his baseline while Barack Obama reportedly fell below his in the eyes of Xbox Live users. And for those of you wondering why I let politics invade gaming, understand that Microsoft started this trend and I am simply a humble gamer that follows the Cult of Gates. Therefore, my object of analysis, study and obsession for the next few days will be the Xbox Live Election 2012 Hub.
The options offered on the Election Hub are actually quite sparse. There are the constant updates from NBCNews.com (yes, I don’t doubt their credibility at all), which are inherently easier to navigate on a web page. Also, when on a computer, a person is actually more suited to post to websites such as Twitter or Myspace, although I believe no one has used Myspace in this century. Or the previous.
Fans have also been offered the opportunity to take parts in votes and analyses, which I am pretty sure they are just as qualified to make as half the people on television. Future content promised includes the “Conversation With the Next Generation” town hall meetings while the company is also working with organizations to provide informational videos and assist voter registration information. Suddenly, Microsoft is all for the Democratic process but, if people start voting to eliminate monopolies, let’s see how the Soulless Machine handles the Trustbusters; that’s a Saturday night slam I would be willing to watch.
Here, however, I feel the need to pose certain questions. The first question I pose is who watches a presidential debate on their Xbox 360? Watching videos and streams on the Xbox requires a paid subscription. Actually, doing anything fun on the Xbox requires a paid subscription (or a hassle-free switch to the Playstation 3). So, essentially, instead of watching the debate for free on television, people are actually using their valuable Xbox time to watch two candidates say essentially the same thing. To be fair, though, when was the last instance in the gaming community when Xbox Live time counted as “valuable”?
The second question I pose is what happened to the gamer that was unconcerned with the rest of the world? This debate took place a day after Blizzard released Mists of Pandaria, the latest expansion to World of Warcraft. So, why are we concerned with trivial debates when we should be respectfully but hurriedly retreating to our parents’ basements and dedicating hours of our lives to gain five bits of golden mana? After all, Mila Kunis plays World of Warcraft so you never know; next time could be the time she joins your clan.
Plus, this week also saw the release of Resident Evil 6, which admittedly puts a dent in the classic franchise, but aren’t zombies universally and unequivocally cooler than politicians? At least a zombie will be direct and forthcoming about his intention to chew off your limbs.
The third question I pose is does this result reflect an actual political preference in the gamer community or are the results once again skewed? The only way to answer this question is to consider the unique tastes of the gamer community as perceived by yours truly and to apply it to the entire gaming spectrum, no exceptions. Of course, I am certain this is roughly as accurate as Gallup’s system.
Gamers love legalized ammunition for their protagonists, so I’m guessing they are proponents of a very inclusive interpretation of the Second Amendment; in that regard, they seem like conservatives.
On the other hand, gamers also love the titillating clothing on those beautiful, voluptuous pixels so I’m guessing they are vehement opponents of personal regulation. In that regard, perhaps, they are liberals.
Of course, there is always the off chance that someone is a libertarian, but here it could actually make sense; I have never seen a gamer concerned about the fact that health care issues are never discussed in as violent a subject as video games, so that does indicate libertarian leanings. After all, I am certain that Ayn Rand once said that health care in video games will be the fall of capitalism.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the only reason gamers are doing this is because anyone who sticks around for all three presidential debates (or the vice presidential debate as well) will receive a free Halo 4 costume for their Xbox Live Avatar. As worthless as that may sound, I personally feel that politics coming to gaming is a good sign because it might mean that the discourse on gaming forums is ready to grow. Of course, as Mark Twain once said, “In matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.”