Manifesto Games CEO Calls Out NY Guv Over Planned Video Game Law

Ever write to an old school chum? Manifesto Games CEO Greg Costikyan has. And in this case, his former classmate (Horace Mann ’77) is none other than New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D).

As reported by GamePolitics, Spitzer’s administration is readying video game legislation, fulfilling a campaign promise the Democrat made in 2006. Costikyan, concerned about the proposed law, wrote an open letter to Spitzer recently, which began, “Dear Classmate:”

I urge you to rethink this [legislative] agenda, as it seems to me a fruitless attempt to infringe on the rights of New Yorkers, a likely waste of taxpayer dollars, and a wholly unnecessary attack on the 21st century’s most vibrant and promising popular artform…

The idea that games can be equated in any fashion with cigarettes–a physically addictive product with severe and proven negative impacts on health–is on the face of it, absurd. Games can provide thoughtful insight into systems, processes, and ideas in a fashion different from other media…

In an era in which the rights of Americans are under assault from our own federal government, it seems to me that Democratic governors should be seeking to defend and protect our liberties, rather than to diminish them.

Costikyan, whose company is an independent publisher, also expresses concern that such legislation will impact smaller game industry firms disproportionately.

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  1. 0
    Ghede says:

    I think he should have made at least one comment on how other states have tried legislating the same thing, and wound up with a hefty bill. It’s one thing to appeal to a classmate from 40 years ago with vague and slightly insulting comments, and another thing to actually, y’know, CONVINCE him it is a bad idea.

  2. 0
    MechaTama31 ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    I thought I recognized that name. That’s the same Greg Costikyan who wrote Another Day, Another Dungeon, and One Quest, Hold the Dragons. Too bad he never finished that series…

    Anyways, on topic now, I don’t see what basis he has for expecting Democrats to be any more favorable than Republicans on this matter, as both sides have demonstrated that they see games as a “victimless” (it won’t cost them many votes) scapegoat to buff up their “family-friendly” credentials.

  3. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I loved that book! Yeah, I too am sad he never finished the series. It was very entertaining, especially to anyone who’s played DnD…

  4. 0
    Mysticgamer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think the Democrats are just playing their cards to be elected. Haven’t seen Hilary go after any game legislation since being nominated.

  5. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    ya but shes still a mindless polis looking for votes and reps more than anythign else…


    Anyone know how likely this game…oy……er “law” will fail? LOL

  6. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wouldn’t mind seeing this guy get on the MC Thompson debate train…he could put the proceeds toward the ESRB fees.

  7. 0
    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Silver_Derstin: I haven’t seen a politician yet who came close to representing me or my peers. At least, not one that got elected to any position of prominence.

  8. 0
    Silver_Derstin says:


    Let’s blame the democrats! No wait, the Republican! No wait, the CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA! hum… No, the Parti QuĂ©becois!

    Really, stop blaming people. We’re the reason censorship is on the rise, not our government. They’re just doing what we want them to do.

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