The thing I hate about tragedies like Sandy Hook, besides the horrific loss of life of course, is the petulant finger-pointing that happens afterward, where everyone tries to find an easy scapegoat while dodging the actual difficult roots of the problem, and nothing ever changes for the better as a result. I was dismayed that vice president Joe Biden met with game industry leaders for a time waste-a-thon recently, when we all know video games, violent or not, aren't the real issue.
Still, it's cool that EA and Maxis headed to D.C. during inauguration week, and teamed up with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) leaders at the Learn.Build.Create event. They had the new SimCity
on hand to show the creative, problem-solving aspects of gaming and to pay a little positive lip service to our favorite pastime, which seems to get trotted out and whipped whenever something terrible happens. People in Washington do tend to forget that gaming isn't all CoD and GTA, even if violent games don't cause violence anyway.
That said, have any of them played
SimCity? All I did when I got bored was spawn tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes upon my hapless sims, and according to my friends, most of them did the same thing. Talk about violent.
EA, Maxis and SimCity were in Washington for inauguration week to show that not all games are violent, but instead can teach young people about math and science, and be a force for education:
· An early version of SimCity was unveiled at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and in a special reception during President Obama’s Inauguration. Mayors, members of Congress and other policy makers saw a demo of the game that can be put to use in schools in their own districts and discussed the online community SimCityEdu, that will offer educators a place to create STEM focused curriculum based on the SimCity game.
· At last night’s Learn.Build.Create afterhours inauguration event in Washington, D.C., EA bridged the worlds of entertainment, government and philanthropy to celebrate one cause – promoting STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math).
The event was co-hosted by STEM advocates John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Malin Akerman and Rosario Dawson, who mingled with hundreds of guests and sipped on themed cocktails at the W Hotel’s rooftop lounge, overlooking Washington, D.C. Others spotted on the red carpet included will.i.am, Jermaine Dupri, M.C. Hammer, Chrissy Teigan and Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia. Guests experienced a demo of SimCity before its March 5, 2013 launch.
EA’s activities in Washington, D.C. are part of a larger industry plan to educate municipal and federal lawmakers about the positive impact of video games. SimCity has inspired educators for 20 years and this new version will be the theme for SimCityEdu and educators to engage students in a new way.