A few months ago I mentioned some of Barack Obama’s comments concerning video games.

According to a transcript from the New York Times of the February 19th speech following his win in Wisconsin, Obama is quoted as saying:

“We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”

He has since said similar things, specifically during the third presidential debate. Most of you are aware that I’m a big believer in the value of gaming. And so am pretty pumped that Obama also has come to realize that perhaps video games do have some uses. Why?

Because Obama’s campaign has moved into an arena where no other politician has been.

That’s right. Video games.

And most of you are also aware that I’m pretty cynical and that maybe . . . mmmm . . . Obama is working two sides of the same fence.

The campaign has paid to have ads inserted into 18 online Xbox 360 games including among others NASCAR 2009, Madden Live and Guitar Hero 3. The ads are targeting males and females 18-30.

“These ads will help us expand the reach of VoteForChange.com, so that more people can use this easy tool to find their early vote location and make sure their voice is heard,” campaign spokesman Nick Shapiro said.

Campaign officials said the video game ads run in 10 states that allow early voting, including several battleground states: Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado.

From a basic techie perspective without all the political implications, I think it’s pretty cool. Someone is beginning to realize the power of the medium and is taking advantage. I’d be very curious to know what impact the ads had on registration, voter turnout and political affiliation.

I’m guessing that data is gonna be pretty difficult to track down! But I’m still impressed with the Obama campaign for taking a very different approach.