Texas Guv Will Give E3 Keynote Address… But Why?

The ESA issued a press release today announcing that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) will give the E3 keynote address.

We can’t help but ask… why?

It’s unheard of for a politician to give the opening remarks for the video game industry’s big dance. Reading between the lines of the ESA press release, Perry’s  qualifications seem to be that: a.) Texas is home to a lot of game developers and b.) in 2007 he signed into law a bill providing financial incentives to film and video game productions.

However, as GamePolitics reported when Perry signed the legislation, the video game incentive package is fraught with potential content restrictions. The Austin American-Statesman wrote at the time:

To appease some concerned legislators, the incentive program was structured to guard against paying companies that make violent games. The state will be allowed to pick and choose projects, eliminating those that have "inappropriate content" or are "obscene." Game companies are left wondering which projects could be deemed "inappropriate."

The Daily Texan noted:

The bill requires the office to consider "general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the citizens of Texas" when considering grant applications. The bill also requires submission of a final script to determine if changes occurred during production would conflict with these standards.

Moreover, in order to qualify for incentives, a project "cannot portray Texas or Texans in a negative fashion."

A number of states have enacted incentive packages in recent times, most recently Michigan and Georgia. GamePolitics is aware of no state other than Texas that makes funding in any way dependent upon content.

Beyond the content issues, it just seems, well, odd. For many years as ESA president Doug Lowenstein gave the E3 keynote. After all, E3 was the ESA’s big show. Lowenstein’s annual speech was something not to be missed, a kind of State of the Union address for the video game biz.

However, in 2007, his first year at the helm, freshman boss Michael Gallagher begged off, citing newness to the position. This announcement means that the E3 crowd, which has yet to hear from Gallagher, will have to wait another year to learn whether the man has a vision for the industry.

It may be worthwhile noting that Gallagher has deep Republican roots, as does Perry, the current Chairman of the Repulican Governors Association.  Perhaps the ESA (or Gallagher) views Perry as having loftier aspirations (say, the White House) when his second term expires in 2010.

UPDATE: The ESA has dropped GamePolitics a line to say that Gallagher will be giving some sort of state-of-the-industry speech at E3.

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  1. 0
    oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. 0
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  3. 0
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  4. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Gallagher, et. al. have forced their way in…. big companies not attending will force them back out again.  Including the keynote speaker.



  5. 0
    John Hutzler says:

    Geez, when will people learn what censorship is.  Censorship is when the government says you can’t publish/say/broadcast/do something.  It is not censorship for the government to say, "we won’t pay you to do it."

    Whether it’s qualifying for financial incentives to make video games or getting a public grant to make art, strings can be attached.  If you don’t want to follow the rules, then don’t ask for the money.


  6. 0
    T5 says:


    Have any of the mentioned provisions in the law been used or detered any game designers from setting up shop?

    GP should talk to some Texan game designers

  7. 0
    Hans Moleman says:

    Lemme guess…

    The texans will only pay a game designer doing an unholy ritual to ressurect Left Behind? Or derivitive religious crapfest of a game mark 2?


    *gouges out eyes*

  8. 0
    Loudspeaker says:

    Between the loss of major players and this article it seems to underscore the need for ESA to clean house and start anew.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  9. 0
    Kincyr says:

    a project "cannot portray Texas or Texans in a negative fashion."

    I can’t think of anything lately that has done this… except for that one episode of SpongeBob.

    岩「…Ace beats Jack」

  10. 0
    Tye The Czar says:

    Seriously. He’s said to be Tom Delay’s "bitch". In the 2006 election, he scared everyone into reelecting him. And he and/or the fellow republicans HATES education. He’s the reason Texas is the Lone Retard State.

  11. 0
    Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "All y’all kids need to settle down. I’m on yer side. We can all get along as long as y’all do what yer told".- sorry, but I felt the need to some up this guy’s speech ahead of time. He wants to pander to the young people who seem to be a bit more informed and organized than he previously thought. Of course, he will not concede his prior position because old folks are easier to scare into voting for him.

    In political terms, this is called the "surprise reach-around".

    Perhaps the ESA would be kind enough to tell us why they felt his presence was important (besides the obvious interpretation that he paid to get in)?

  12. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:


    True that, GP. When it comes to gamer culture in the world at large (or the world at large in gamer culture) your coverage is always the freshest and best. Thank you!

  13. 0
    gamepolitics says:

    you may have read this story in three other places, but I think GP is the only site to place it in any context. The rest just seemed to rephrase the ESA press release, which is disappointing… The announcement is pretty off-the-wall and demands some analysis.

  14. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with you EZK. I was trying to keep an open mind about Gallagher a week or two ago, when we all were talking about Activision dropping out of the ESA, but I’ve read this keynote story three times at three different places now, and I still don’t get it. All I get is some vague, unsettling sense of greasy, backroom politics. I guess that’s what the ESA gets for hiring a lobbyist instead of businessman…?

  15. 0
    GameDevMich says:

    Sorry to make a WAY off topic comment:

    There used to be an address that you could send stories/leads to GP.  I can no longer find that address on this site.  All contact information goes directly to the ECA.  Can someone help a gamer out?

  16. 0
    Conejo says:

    "UPDATE: The ESA has dropped GamePolitics a line to say that Gallagher will be giving a state-of-the-industry speech at E3."

    for a moment, i thought "awesome. state-of-the-industry AND the Sledge-o-Matic!"


    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  17. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Why you ask? For money.

    With the ESA rapidly losing supporters -and relavency- they are desperate to do anything to make a buck, even selling short the gaming industry.

  18. 0
    Freyar says:

    *sigh* This isn’t going to help the new guy’s stature with the companies. Now that we have big-name companies leaving, I’m sure others are looking at the possibility of leaving too.  He needs to be up there and even though he’s new he needs to be talking about his organization.

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

  19. 0
    Xlorep DarkHelm says:

    Ok, so the answer to my question in the previous thread is a resounding "No. The ESA is not about to learn from its mistakes."

    "I’m not responcabel fer my comuter’s spleling errnors." — Xlorep DarkHelm

  20. 0
    JustChris says:

    They act like it’s going to be much of a problem trying to find developers that will fit to their standards of "decency". Relax guys, it’s just entertainment.

    Politicians have only themselves to blame for forming the delicate connections between their reputation and what some game developer does.

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