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Government shutdown is no game: Congress 'rage quits'

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Gary Cameron/Reuters

(Read caption) Government shutdown: Rachel Young, a member of the Family, Career and Community Leadership of America group, poses in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on day one of the government shutdown, October 1.

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Today parents searching for a way to put the government shutdown into words their kids can understand might want to look to video games and the Urban Dictionary for the answer that Congress just “rage quit” the game we could title “The Battle of Obamacare,”  leaving kids and families to suffer as collateral damage.

This observation comes courtesy of my youngest son Quin, 9, this morning.

“Uh Mom, the newspaper has the Capitol building upside down and says our government shut down today,” said Quin, 9. “Somebody at the paper seriously messed up.”

For Quin it was more likely that a major newspaper could flip the Capitol and get the facts upside-down rather than grasp that Congress has driven the nation into a partial government shutdown in a blood feud over President Barack Obama's health care law.

I explained to Quin that the paper had it right, Congress is fighting over a law and because they couldn’t settle their differences, about 800,000 federal workers are off the job and most “non-essential” federal programs and services are shut down today.

“Oh so they rage quit,” Quin said. “I get it now.”

To “rage quit” is a common video gamer term the Urban Dictionary defines as, “To stop playing a game out of anger towards an event that transpired within the game.”

Son Ian, 18, read the paper and said, “Great! So they just GGed the government.”

When I looked blankly at him he said, “When you rage quit you just type GG and sign off it means ‘Good Game.’”

It’s basically a high-tech tantrum. Nobody likes a rage quitter, according to Ian who is an avid online group gamer.

There are those who don’t approve of allowing kids to play video games. However, I am seeing another side of it as I look at Congress today because my sons do cooperative online gaming which allows multiple players to quest by working together towards the same goal.

Congress has just performed a monster rage quit that is impacting families right now because while the programs may be deemed “non-essential,” the jobs, daycare, and food supplement programs that shut down today are vital to families.


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