Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D) who, as recently as last year tried to legislate video game sales, is now courting the video game industry in a big way.
It’s all about the economics, apparently.
As reported by the Boston Business Journal, Menino announced the launch of PoweringUpBoston.com, a website designed to promote the region’s video game industry with news, job postings and additional resources.
Menino, who spoke at the Congress Street offices of FableVision, pointed out that game development at Harmonix, 2K Boston, Turbine and 73 other firms employs over 1,500 people in the area. During his speech, Menino declared:
Boston is a game industry friendly city.
The Boston Mayor has not always been so game-friendly, however. In 2007 and 2008 he pushed for video game sales restrictions similar to those found unconstitutional by federal courts around the country.
In 2006 he led a campaign to have ads for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories removed from local public transit vehicles.
Edge Online has more on Menino’s game initiative:
The Boston-area videogames steering committee is made up of key members from local game firms, and will advise the mayor and the Boston Redevelopment Authority staff in "strengthening the Boston-area game development presence, raising Boston’s profile as a global leader in digital media and specifically the game industry."
The group, which has members from Blue Fang Games, Metaversal Studios and Northeastern University, has been meeting since October 2008.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has also been working hard to bring game industry firms to the area. As GamePolitics reported, Patrick recently visited high-tech firms on the West Coast, including game publishers EA and Microsoft.