Video games and libertarianism go hand in hand, poll finds

Gamers are in favor of legalizing marijuana and 3D printed guns in greater numbers than non-gamers.

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A new poll from the libertarian Magazine, Reason, suggests that gamers are more inclined to have libertarian political views in favor of smaller government and less regulations on what consumers can and can’t buy.

Reason’s latest issue focuses on how “gaming is making America freer—and more fun.” The data was also collected by its Reason-Rupe poll, so you should take it with a grain of salt, but it does offer some interesting numbers.

The correlation between video games and libertarianism comes down to a few question posed to polled gamers, most of which had to do with consumer choice.

“If there's any one trend to take away from a poll looking at gamers it's that gamers don't like to be told what to do with their lives,” Reason said. “Again, they may describe themselves as liberal, but they do not like government policies that control individual life choices, like what products they can purchase or consume. Video games are all about making choices, right? That's one mentality that does carry over in real life.”

A significantly larger percentage of gamers than non-gamers believed that they should be allowed to buy caffeinated energy drinks, play violent video games, and gamble in online poker games. They also supported legalizing marijuana and 3D printed guns in greater numbers. The biggest difference was gamers’ support for using Bitcoin as a currency. 55 percent of gamers were in favor compared to 30 percent among non-gamers.

On the other hand, the poll also found that gamers were more likely to support government subsidies for alternative energy sources like solar and wind, which goes against the libertarian belief in a free market.

The gaming-themed issue of Reason is filled with other articles that draw the line between games and libertarianism, like a list of games every libertarian must play, and a collection of “dumb” quotes from politicians against video games.

"People who game tend to be much more tolerant, pretty skeptical of state power and take a more grass-roots, bottom-up view of the world -- and are certainly more in favor of legalizing marijuana," Reason’s editor-in-chief Matt Welch told the Washington Post in an interview. "It's not that everyone who plays video games is a secret libertarian, but that their list of shared attributes is now mainstream, and it's importantly different than what we've seen traditionally."

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BradBurns

@rarson "Interesting debate strategy: insist that your opinion is fact and keep insisting. Unfortunately it's not a very effective one."

You're no different. Try to drop the attitude, this isn't a fight, I'm simply having a discussion with you. Your constant back handed remarks don't help any of your arguments.

The first point you brought up was why do corporations give to charity. It's actually pretty simple. Most of the time it's for tax exceptions. Other times it's for PR. Some companies give a few thousand to charities and then spend millions on bragging about how good they are to people.

Also, corporations are not in the business of giving consumers what they want. If that were the case their profits would often suffer. They're in the business of creating products that are appealing enough to generate a profit. There's difference between the two.

Corporations are required by law to maximize profitability. That is a fact, not an opinion of mine.

Consumer's fault? Virtually everything in the US is created by one corporation or another, or is at least influence by it. It's the system we live in. And corporations often go out of their way to make sure that the public remain ignorant of what they do behind closed doors, because they know that if they were well informed, it would be bad PR. They don't like when Americans read about the deplorable working conditions they have in the third world, for example. So they try to obscure that kind of information.(That weird, leaked plutocracy Citigroup memo comes to mind, if you're at all interested. It invokes the morally dubious concept of the Eighty Twenty Rule)

"The entire rest of your comment is pointless blathering. I don't understand why you're bothering to post your opinion when it doesn't make any sense and you're not supplying anything to back it up. I can tell you don't own or run a business, because you haven't even a shred of understanding of basic economics."

Ah, there's that patented charm again. You really need to change that attitude of yours. I really don't have a problem discussing this with you, but I'm starting to fear I'm chatting up a prank account. Or worse, an over-zealous teenager who just learned about basic economics and Libertarianism, with poor social skills.

Very little of that was opinion. Antitrust laws of the early 20th century were largely due to pressure from working class people. Politicians largely only react to pressure. For a law like that to pass, it has to be due to immense pressure from the working class. They're not handouts.

There's actually a very relevant video to all of this on. It's very short, if you're at all interested: "Corporations required by law to be utterly pathological, Noam Chomsky."


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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >>: "The first point you brought up was why do corporations give to charity. It's actually pretty simple. Most of the time it's for tax exceptions. Other times it's for PR. Some companies give a few thousand to charities and then spend millions on bragging about how good they are to people."

Yeah but politicians do the same thing with any program thy enact, no matter the consequences.

"Also, corporations are not in the business of giving consumers what they want. If that were the case their profits would often suffer. They're in the business of creating products that are appealing enough to generate a profit. There's difference between the two."

This is not true at all. You're saying something but not proving why that is the case.

"Corporations are required by law to maximize profitability. That is a fact, not an opinion of mine."

Again false premise, but where is the law that says this? And if it is a 'law' then it is a feature of an interventionist state, not a market.

"There's actually a very relevant video to all of this on. It's very short, if you're at all interested: "Corporations required by law to be utterly pathological, Noam Chomsky."

Did the people publicly pressure politicians to pass this law? This is also a feature of the state, not a market.

"Also, corporations are not in the business of giving consumers what they want. If that were the case their profits would often suffer. They're in the business of creating products that are appealing enough to generate a profit. There's difference between the two."

They are and they aren't, but the market world isn't limited to corporations. People want better stuff, and the market responds to what people want b/c that is what will make the most money. You don't need graphs or pie charts to figure out that one.

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BradBurns

@thedeadwind1984 Personally, I don't care about Politicians, I'm discussing corporations. There is a difference that is worth mentioning, however. Corporations only give to charity if they think that will lead to better profits at some point in the future (better PR).

Politicians are not in the profit business. They're supposed to be serving the public. They're not part of the private sector, they're supposed to be part of the public sector. Many try to make a profit on the side by siding with corporations in hopes of being handsomely rewarded. The two are not exactly the same.

As for my statement not being at all true, I'd like to ask why that is? Corporations are not entities that are meant to fulfill the wishes of people (ie give people what they want), they exist to generate a profit and nothing else. In other words, they exist to create things that lead to profitability, they're not in the business of wish fulfillment. That's a very strange reinterpretation of their intended function.

And that rarson guy really did seem to think that corporations were in the business of wish fulfillment. How else would you interpret phrasing like "give people what they want". People want their pay to be adjusted for inflation, but corporations don't do that, now do they? So I guess they're not in that business, after all. Since they only exist to seek profit, they often go against what most people seem to actually want, if it affects profitability in any negative way.

The government will always exist in a democratic system. And as long as capitalism is tied to it, corporations will try to create laws that benefit them, which is what they did. The government didn't force it on them, they forced it on the government. Democracy and capitalism can't co-exist. Capitalism eventually devours it. It's part of the system, it's an innate function of capitalism.

"But, unlike someone under a banyan tree, all publicly traded corporations have been structured, through a series of legal decisions, to have a peculiar and disturbing characteristic. They are required, by law, to place the financial interests of their owners above competing interests. In fact, the corporation is legally bound to put its bottom line ahead of everything else, even the public good."

This is an excerpt from the documentary "The Corporation". It's a documentary that casts a critical lens on the primary function of how corporations operate.

You have to understand that the current system we have is not a real market. A truly open market is mostly fantastical, because as long as people become wealthy through capitalism, they will rig everything in their favor once they've achieved it. It also doesn't look after the well being of working class people. So you shouldn't assume that leaving markets completely unregulated would solve everything. It would certainly be more fair than the system we have. But such a system has never really existed. And would have plenty of innate false to seriously consider.

Professor Noam Chomsky on inherent market flaws:"I can't choose in a market system to get a subway system, that is a collective action. Market systems don't allow that. So it has an enormous distorting effect on the choices that are available. There are plain inefficiencies, even from the point of view of markets, externalities, crucially. So for example, if you and I make a transaction we'll make sure that we make out okay, we're not considering the effects on that guy over there, that doesn't enter into market transactions and those effects can be very substantial. In fact we are right in the middle of one right now, the financial crisis. When big institutions, like Goldman Sachs, when they make some risky transaction, whatever it is, if they are paying attention, they will try to cover their own potential losses but they don't pay attention to what's called systemic risk; the possibility that their failed transaction might bring down the entire system." I just happened to read this a few days ago and felt it was pretty relevant.


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BradBurns

<< LINK REMOVED >>

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Syndicalist

So the majority of gamers are white, male, middle class teenagers? Who'd have thought!?

This is typical libertarian nonsense, these free market clowns are always trying to claim everyone is aligned with their libertarian ideology, despite that practically nobody is. They come out with tripe like 'oh you like choices in a game, therefore you're a libertarian'. This is utterly pathetic. I'm a left-wing socialist from a poor background, my grandfathers were coal miners and they were treated like scum by their employers with the blessing of the British state.

Libertarians are too stupid to see that they already got their way in the past, and now they need to come to terms with the reality of what spawns from the free market:

Feudalism > theocracy > imperialism > capitalism > neo-liberalism

This what came from the 'free market'; violence and oppression. Libertarians are total hypocrites and demonstrate their contradictions constantly.

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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >>: "So the majority of gamers are white, male, middle class teenagers? Who'd have thought!?"

I think you've been watching too much TV. What you are saying doesn't describe anything real but rather shows how much cable 'news' you've been watching and how propagandized you are. These are unthinking stereotypes produced by corporate media created to keep people from intellectually engaging with their fellow citizens.

I'm middle eastern and European; my friend is Mexican and we are both libertarians. Unless you've met actual libertarians and discussed with them, this 'middle class and white male' stereotype is another dishonest item used to dumb down the economic and philosophical conversation. With sophomoric remarks like these, you might as well just watch sports.

"hey come out with tripe like 'oh you like choices in a game, therefore you're a libertarian'."

If you're for the right to own the means of your own self defense (3D printed firearms) and for ending the drug war, generally you lean libertarian, no matter how confused you are about definitions and terms.

"Libertarians are too stupid to see that they already got their way in the past, and now they need to come to terms with the reality of what spawns from the free market:"

Libertarianism has never existed anywhere - the state has always violated the rights of individuals either through income taxes, property taxes, slavery, eminent domain, prohibition, corporate privilege, political immunity and imperialism. You are confusing corporatism (crony capitalism) with free market capitalism, which only exists relatively and in small pockets.

The state owns the entire money supply and the interest rates - there is no free market. The state grants legal personhood to, charters, provides immunity for, limits liability for, bails out and subsidizes corporations - there is no free market.

"Feudalism > theocracy > imperialism > capitalism > neo-liberalism"

Can you define each term and explain how it relates to the nonaggression principle and libertarianism? Capitalism is a vacuum word that liberals and conservatives use to fill in whatever they want to fill it with, you have top specify what kind of capitalism you are referring to.

Imperialism is funded by taxation and collected by the apparatus of an interventionist state. With a limited government that only protects individual property rights (your body, life and possessions) there is no apparatus or funds required for conquest. You don't get to cherry pick big government imperialism and pass that off as limited government.

I'm not going to even bother with the rest of this garbage.

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thedeadwind1984

A lot of confused and indoctrinated statists are about to get demystified. Never bring up libertarianism and be misinformed at the same time. You're going to get a huge lecture lol.

Aghast at all the government cows, so many confused people in the gaming community.

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NuarBlack

Of course! Just look at how well games that emphasize freedom and choice do like Elder Scrolls and bioware games.

My guess is that all the boot licking statist on here are COD fanboys that don't care for innovation and creativity that big government supresses. A free market is the life blood of the video game industry.

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brdeftone

Rand Paul 2016!

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TobiTheGun

<< LINK REMOVED >> He's not a libertarian. << LINK REMOVED >>

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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>: He's not a real libertarian, but he leans libertarian and he's the closest thing we got to bringing a man of principle and of the people to the White House.

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TobiTheGun

<< LINK REMOVED >>

I'm a voluntaryist, so I try to avoid bargaining with the system as much as possible. I don't actually care what Rand wants. I don't concent with the system, even when it throws candy at me. Live life as you see fit. You don't impose on me and I don't impose on you. As for their belief set, I considder it completly irrelevant. Ron Paul I find likeable. Rand Paul. Not so much. Also, I couldn't vote for them even if I wanted to, wich I don't by the way, because I don't live in the US.

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Syndicalist

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

You realise that no politician can change the system, right?

You realise that the USA has plenty of conservative politicians who have practically no ideological differences to Rand/Ron Paul?

You realise Rand/Ron are just a pair of conservative capitalists, and right-wing christians, right? Trying to outlaw abortion doesn't sound like 'freedom of choice' to me.

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MondasM

3d printed guns, really???

i am all against this...

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ThrashMatt26

This comment section depresses me

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Yuusha09

Until everyone considers themselves (and runs as) independent I think we're screwed.

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bubba_1988

<< LINK REMOVED >> where's the money in that?

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Ambivalist

Haha... Libertarians. I know whenever somebody identifies themselves as libertarian, that I don't have to take them seriously as a person.

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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >>: What is a libertarian?

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NuarBlack

I know when someone says something like this they really mean that economics, philosophy, logic, and science confuse them. All those big words and facts libertarians use must mean they are just talking gibberish and have lost their mind right?

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PeterDuck

I been gaming for 20 years.

I am for big government; for regulation of corporations, how much they can "donate" to political figures; I am for fair laws, for responsibility, for fair taxation on the wealthy, more so on those who inherited their wealth plus the tax on capital gains, also for a lot less taxes on the middle class and a lot more on the millionaires; I am for limits on how much money one can inherit (2 million should be more than enough); I am against states rights since historically states trumped the rights of minorities until the big scary government stepped in to tell the little piss ass governments to not be assholes; I am against guns; I am for fair equal representation based on the instant runoff voting.

Libertarianism (i.e. anarchy 2.0) does not work in the interconnected world of 7 billion people.


I guess I am in the minority.

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Syndicalist

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Well done for speaking the truth.

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Laz8778

<< LINK REMOVED >>$2 million is enough? Says who? $2 million in one state does not equal $2 million in another state. Did you just pull an arbitrary number out of thin air? That's like saying "I say no one needs to make more than $10,000 a year. You don't need a car because you can take public transportation or walk and you can grow your own food."


You're in the minority because you're opinion is not founded on any logic. People like you use the "Why does anyone need...?" argument for everything in an attempt to restrict individual liberties. Your "big government" props up failing businesses and monopolies left and right. The fact that you think having a centralized monopoly of power and force leads to more equality is laughable.

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Syndicalist

<< LINK REMOVED >>

And they are all better, and more peaceful and less exploitative than the USA.

Fancy that.

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ThrashMatt26

<< LINK REMOVED >> We need more people like you

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Laz8778

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yes we need more statist zombies like you

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BradBurns

@thedeadwind1984 The problem with modern Libertarian views is that many people don't realize that corporations themselves seem to violate the non-aggression principle.

We don't really have any say in what we do in the work place under the corporate system. You simply take orders and try to realize them as best you can. You have to rent yourself out to it. There's no worker control over production of anything. It goes against the notion. Since most modern Libertarians tend to favor the corporate structure, I can't really agree.

Also, government can never really be eliminated. It's always necessary for law enforcement and other public services. So as long as it exists in a capitalistic system, it will be disproportionately influenced by the corporate world. It's how the private sector functions under capitalism. I'm not really a fan of capitalism. It's a system that devours itself. It regularly creates a crisis that mostly affects the working class, all while being rigged in favor of the elites.

At my heart I am also an anarchist. I think states are illegitimate power structures. But they can be potentially more democratic than a Corporation, which is my major gripe with modern reinterpretations of Libertarianism. So they can be used for good in the short term. In the long term, they will probably be dissolved. Or should be.

Corporations are too totalitarian in structure to do much good.

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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>: Yes, you are just oozing with sense, logic, reason and substance. Do not try to talk to me and my valid criticisms and articulated arguments b/c I am a 'libertard'.

I submit to your superior logic, and reason.

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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >>: "You are absolutely deluded. You want a 'free market' where absolutely everyone is FORCED into this 'non-aggression' BS. This is an idealistic fantasy of clowns."

You don't know what a free market is, you are using strawmans or are victim to the prevailing misconceptions over libertarianism.

By definitions, no one is forced into a system where force is outlawed. The nonaggression principles means you cannot force people to do things. This system poses no obligation from you.

"Most working class people want rights and protection in the workplace. Most libertarians are jobless, middle class white kids living in their parents' homes, so it's no wonder they can't identify with the working class struggle."

No one is arguing against rights.

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Syndicalist

@thedeadwind1984

You are absolutely deluded. You want a 'free market' where absolutely everyone is FORCED into this 'non-aggression' BS. This is an idealistic fantasy of clowns.

Have you ever actually looked at human history? The free market spawned feudalist protectionism to begin with. It spawned the theocracy of the church. It spawned empires. You expect 7 billion people to agree to 'the non-aggression pact'? And by what authority do you plan to enforce such a thing? You just said we have to get rid of the only source of law and regulation. Now you say we must all conform to non-aggression.

The fact is, if you came to me talking about non-aggression, I'd show you the meaning of aggression.

Most working class people want rights and protection in the workplace. Most libertarians are jobless, middle class white kids living in their parents' homes, so it's no wonder they can't identify with the working class struggle.

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Syndicalist

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Don't try to talk sense to libertards.

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thedeadwind1984

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>: The support for free markets is based on the nonaggression principle not a fetish or worship of a caricature that you may be mystified by. The nonaggression principle is the complete rejection of the initiation of force and if violated may be responded with the retaliatory use of force.

A free market can never be as abusive as a large state b/c the rules that it operates under are based on voluntary trade. Yes abuse will always be present but a corporation can never be as powerful as a state b/c the state receives unlimited funding through monopoly powers over currency and violence (taxation for example).

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BradBurns

<< LINK REMOVED >> I don't think that states are legitimate, either.

However, you shouldn't fetishize the free market. It can lead to very similar things (crazy censorship, for example. If possible sales figures are affected negatively by something, it must be censored for the sake of sales.