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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