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Dear Fruitman... - The Atari Times

Dear Fruitman...

Time to crack some heads
by Fruitman

August 2, 2001
During the 1970's there was a phrase, "Atari Democrat." It was used to describe politicians who sought technology to solve problems.

But I cannot remember which election year I heard it.


-John Pilge-

Dear John,

You know what? Politicians and video games just don't mix. I don't care if they are Democrat or Republican, they should just stay out of video games completely.

Let's take our good buddy, Joseph Lieberman. Here's a man who can't think of why kids are truly violent today, so he tries to make video games the scapegoat. Let's conveniently ignore the fact that so many kids are brought up in single family homes, or that the population has become so large that many kids have an attention deficit. And let's forget to sweep under the rug how their peers make it so difficult to be an adolescent. Gee, I NEVER recall getting bullied in school! I NEVER wanted to exact a little revenge on the guy who stole my chocolate milk. No, not me. Never, never, never.

So, rather than spending some serious time and effort in discovering the REAL reasons kids are violent, he takes the EASY way out and targets video games. Rather than trying to cure the disease by finding the source, he'd rather tackle the impossible job of trying to patch the symptoms. As long as he is doing something, his constituents must think he's doing a good job. I say, throw the bum out!

I've been around before dirt. And back in the old days, there were violent people. Long before there was such a thing as the Atari 2600. Long before Pac-Man was violently gobbling ghosts. Long before Carol Shaw's River Raid blasted through TV screens. Long before Berzerk, Doom, Quake, and Soldier of Fortune, there was violence everywhere. Ever read the Bible? It's one of the bloodiest, goriest, books ever written. And I don't see the politicians attacking that. Oh, wait. I forgot. They just banned that book completely. Yet another reason the government should stay the heck out of our lives!

We gamers should all give thanks that George W. Bush became President. Had Gore and Lieberman won, it's likely that video gamers around the country would be thrown in jail for even mentioning a video game. You would probably get the death penalty for playing a game, and all game companies would hereby  be illegal and be run out of business. SWAT would storm in and destroy all CDs and cartridges. You wouldn't even be able to play Solitaire on your computer!

I can just imagine how a prohibition on video games would make us all "Game Runners" driving from city to city delivering our illegal booty to the crying masses. Boy, would we make some money... Hmm...

Ok, Leiberman. Make video games illegal then! You'll be doing me a favor because then I could unload all of my crummy video games for ten times the original price! I'll be getting over $1,000 for a copy of Aircars. Perhaps I could get a million bucks for my copy of BattleSphere? Any takers?

Reader Comments for Dear Fruitman...

Response by Joseph Til on 2001-08-06 12:00:00

I just read your response to the Atari Democrat question on the Atari Times website, and agree with your letter.I feel that lack of parenting is the number one reason kids get affected negatively by violent video games, and that parents must get involved with monitoring what their kids are doing, not politicians. I would have no problem at all having my kids play Kaboom!, but a game like "Doom" is definitely "off limits."

By the way- regarding politicians- I recall a statement made in the 80's by the "great one"- Ronald Reagan- that praised Atari and video games for developing hand-eye coordination in kids. He mentioned that video games were going to help develop a better class of fighter pilot, with better aim and coordination.

You got it by Fruitman on 2001-08-06 12:00:00
Absolutely Joe! Parents have a job to do, and if they fail their kids, they fail us all. It is NOT the politicians job to do, it is the parents.
Surprise! by Darryl B. on 2009-01-25 23:27:04
Wow, he said the exact same thing I've always said too: the Bible's got plenty of violence in it as well, so why not question that?

I saw in a book once where pinball machines were considered gambling devices and were briefly banned (this was in the 50s or something); seeing photos of police knocking over pinball machines was pretty sad.
Bible by Gregory D. George on 2009-01-26 21:52:37
LOL, well, you can't really blame the Bible for the ills of society because no one actually reads it! ;-)
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