Kids, Shoot Your Favorite Candidate!

Clinton, Obama pace gunners in 'Presidential Paintball' online game

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Kids, Shoot Your Favorite Candidate!

JANUARY 22--For the aspiring young assassin, a popular online games site offers kids the opportunity to assume the identity of a leading presidential contender and then shoot their political opponents in a series of armed confrontations in the White House.

While the ammo is paintball, the game on the highly trafficked site allows kids to train a rifle scope on six presidential aspirants and squeeze off a hail of shots (which are accompanied with a rat-a-tat sound). The game, 'Presidential Paintball,' features six candidates in the crosshairs: Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton; John Edwards; Mitt Romney; John McCain; and Rudy Giuliani (it seems the game was developed before the ascension of Mike Huckabee).

If a candidate wins a head-to-head confrontation, he/she advances to a new shootout, which occurs in various White House settings, including outside the Oval Office. When a candidate gets blown away, bloodlessly, a screen appears noting that they have been 'eliminated,' not killed. To better direct a fusillade, young gunmen can use their computer's mouse to place a crosshairs on a candidate's head or body.

Of course, the imagery of Obama and Clinton, both of whom have been the target of threats and receive Secret Service protection, being targeted in such a manner--by children, no less--might be seen as troubling in some quarters. (5 pages)