President Barack Obama explained Sunday how he thinks technology, including video games, has become a distraction to more important issues in life, such as education.
Speaking in a commencement address at Hampton University, Virginia, he said, as relayed by an AP report
, "With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."
It's not the first time that Obama has mentioned video games in public addresses. During presidential campaign, in light of Grand Theft Auto
's April 2008 release, he told parents, "those video games are raising our kids. Across the board … kids are spending a huge amount of time, not on their studies, but on entertainment."
In 2007, Obama had also told youths, "It's time for you to turn off the TV and stop playing GameBoy. … We've got work to do."
But in the past, Obama also used video games' popularity to reach the video gamer demographic by placing campaign ads in video games such as Madden NFL
and Burnout Paradise
And The New York Times also reported in January 2009 that his daughters received a Wii for the family's first Christmas in the White House following Obama's election.
Obama encouraged the graduates at Hampton University to adapt to changes in media, adding that education can help cut through the noise of blogs and talk radio.
"Education... can fortify you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time," he said.