Senator Coburn Targets Games Among Other Programs In His Wastebook 2013 Report

December 18, 2013 - E. Zachary Knight

Every year, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma publishes a list of government programs which he feels wastes tax payer money and government resources called the Wastebook. While he tops the list of wasted tax payer money with a jab at Congress itself, it is when you get into the rest of the document that you find some rather interesting spending programs. In his opening statement to the report, Coburn writes:

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NSA Will Continue Bulk Spying Despite Lawmakers Efforts

December 12, 2013 - GamePolitics staff

An interesting report on Ars Technica reveals that the National Security Agency would continue bulk spying activities even if Congress passes a law forbidding them to do so. In fact, the agency would likely take the fight to court - though which court that would be remains uncertain.

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Report: ESA Spent $3.9 Million in 2013 Fighting Against State and Federal Anti-Videogame Legislation, Lobbying

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Wall Street Journal report (membership required), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent a considerable amount of money and effort in fighting anti-videogame laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey - and in Oklahoma last year. Many of the bills have either died or are locked in legislative committees waiting for approval.

The ESA is also taking aim at a federal bill, according to records and a co-sponsor of the bill.

EFF Applauds Passage of The Innovation Act in the House

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement today praising the House of Representatives passing a bill to deal with patent trolling. The bill, the Innovation Act, was supported by a majority of House members, winning passage by a vote of 323-89. All that's left is for the Senate to take up the bill, which it plans to do before the end of the year.

While the EFF applauds the House's efforts, it also notes that the Innovation Act is by no means a perfect bill:

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ECA Action Alert: Say No to Massachusetts Video Game Research Bill

November 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has put out a special call for action specific to residents of Massachusetts, where a state senator has proposed that violent video games and video games in general should be studied by a panel (put together by the Senate) to determine if they cause real-world violence.

The bill is called S 168 and is the brainchild (we use the term loosely in this case) of State Senator William Brownsberger (D).

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Sen. Rockefeller Attempts to Amend Cybersecurity Bill to NDAA 2014

November 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee has attached his cybersecurity bill (S.1353) as an amendment to next year’s National Defense Authorization Act. If the amendment manages to survive the approval process Sen. Rockefeller’s Cybersecurity Act of 2013 may finally become law. S.1353, was unanimously approved by the Commerce Committee in July but has been stalled since then.

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State Senator Pushing for Independent Investigation into 38 Studios

November 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown) is putting forth legislation today to renew his push to create an independent commission to investigate Rhode Island's investment in 38 Studios, which ultimately left the state on the hook for $100 million after Curt Schilling's game studio went bankrupt in 2012. Hodgson promises to create a bipartisan coalition to bring the bill to a vote early in the 2014 General Assembly session.

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Massachusetts State Senator Proposes Study on Violent Video Games

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Massachusetts state senator is pushing legislation that would study video games and their possible link to violent crime. Sen. William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) has proposed legislation (S 168) to create a special commission to investigate the influence of violent video games and to find if there is a connection with real world violence.

"As a legislator, I don’t know the answer to this question," Brownsberger said during a hearing on the bill Wednesday before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

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Senator Wants to See an End to Patent Trolling Demand Letters

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) convened a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee this week, with the goal of ending the practice by patent trolls using demand letters to extort funds from individuals and companies, according to a lengthy report in Ars Technica. The meeting brings four key personalities in patent reform to Capitol Hill to pick their brains on how to go about accomplishing such a lofty goal.

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High Voltage Software Seeks Tax Incentives Amidst Illinois Legislature Pension Shortfall Fight

November 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Buried in a story about a number of companies seeking incentives from the Illinois state legislature being held up by a veto by Governor Pat Quinn over a lack of pension reform, High Voltage Software's name popped up. Apparently Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates (a northwestern suburb of Chicago) Democrat, is pushing incentives legislation for the company, which is headquartered in his district.

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EFF Warns: Sen. Feinstein's 'NSA Reform Bill' Codifies Agency's Spying Activities

November 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning the public that the "reform bill" being pushed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.) does nothing to curtail the questionable surveillance activities of the National Security Agency; in fact the watchdog group says that the new bill entrenches many of the practices the NSA is engaging in already.

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller Urges Caution in Implementing New FAA Rules on PEDs During Flights

October 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who serves as the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees transportation issues, released a statement today cautioning the use of iPads and other tablet devices on U.S. flights. Rockefeller warned that having access to the Internet and entertainment during flights could impact safety.

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FAA Lifts Ban on Portable Electronic Devices During Flights

October 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Aviation Administration has decided that passengers can now use Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight. The agency recently reviewed the long-standing ban on the use of devices during take-off and landing, but found that there was no scientific evidence to back up claims that such devices interfered with aircraft electronics and communication systems.

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EFF Praises Congress for Taking Aim at Patent Trolls with the 'Innovation Act of 2013'

October 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a statement today praising Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and other lawmakers that have backed a bipartisan effort to combat the nefarious practice of patent trolling. Rep. Goodlatte has introduced the Innovation Act of 2013 (PDF), a bill that puts limits on the ability to use patents to troll companies and the public. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps.

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NSA Head: We Need CISPA

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The battle over the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is far from over and lawmakers and leaders in the government's various security agencies are pushing hard to get legislation in the Senate passed. Earlier this year the House of Representatives passed CISPA with the hopes of the Senate putting together a bill of its own. At the time the Senate let that hot potato cool by saying that it had no plans to pursue such legislation.

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GOG.com Offers Furloughed Government Workers Free Games

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

GOG.com is offering its condolences to government workers affected by the current government shutdown and doing the only thing it can to lift spirits: host a sale. First, the site that offers DRM-free games says that it will give free games to anyone who is currently at home due to the government shutdown, which has temporarily furloughed federal employees at national parks and who work for non-essential services in the country as Republicans and Democrats feud over particulars of the budget and the looming debt ceiling crisis that could see the U.S.

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Republican Senator: CISPA-Like Senate Bill Close to Being Introduced

October 8, 2013 - James Fudge

Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said today that the Senate is "very close" to introducing legislation that would encourage the private sector to share information with federal agencies. A counterpart to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that passed the House in April of this year, the as-of-yet unnamed bill would also provide blanket immunity to corporations that share data so they wouldn't have to worry about getting sued by customers.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Working on CISPA 'Companion' Bill

September 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) failed to win support from the US Senate earlier this year, not every Senator has given up on passing some sort of legislation related to cybersecurity. This week Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, introduced a bill that is meant to "complement" CISPA and aims to encourage information-sharing between private companies and the government in the name of cybersecurity.

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Lawmakers, NSA Argue For and Against Spying Programs

September 27, 2013 - James Fudge

While lawmakers, feeling the heat from constituents back home (or deeply disturbed by reports on spying well before the public became outraged), consider reforms to U.S. surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency, NSA Director Keith Alexander is asking the public for help in defending them.

The head of the top spying agency in the country urges citizens to remain stalwart in their support of the program, lest something bad happen to them on the scale of what happened in Kenya earlier this week.

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Report: Government Shutdown Would Not Stop NSA Spying Programs

September 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

No matter what side of the issue you are on, the looming government shutdown over raising the debt ceiling in Washington D.C. may shut down some important services but it will never stop the Nation Security Agency's (NSA) spying programs. At least that's what this report in The Hill notes. A government shutdown is imminent on Oct.

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Capitol Hill Focuses On Gun Control, Despite Media's Fascination With Violent Video Games

September 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite the national media's fascination with the Washington Navy Yard shooter's violent video gaming habits, lawmakers on Capitol Hill focused on the need to shore up rules on guns in the United States. Democratic lawmakers and anti-gun groups focused their efforts on the push for a vote on background checks legislation, according to Polticio. During that debate there's was very little talk about violent video games.

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South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.

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StopWatchingUs to Hold D.C. Rally Oct. 26

September 19, 2013 - James Fudge

On October 26 organizers of StopWatchingUs will hold a rally in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the Patriot Act. StopWatchingUs is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations, individuals, and companies that oppose the unconstitutional mass surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency. The collective seeks "a full Congressional investigation of America’s surveillance programs, reform to federal surveillance law, and accountability from public officials responsible for hiding this surveillance from lawmakers and the public."

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House GOP Takes Steps Towards Internet Sales Tax

September 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite opposition from fellow House members and a majority of constituents, some Republican lawmakers are pushing forward with Internet tax proposals as part of a comprehensive package on the topic similar to the Senate's Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 69

September 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On Episode 69 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the "unique nature" of Valve Software's "family sharing program" for Steam, Fox News and Dr. Keith Ablow making a concerted effort on connecting video game violence with real-world violence, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 69 now: SuperPAC Episode 69 (1 hour, 1 minute) 28 MB.

Poll: 'Likely Voters' Do Not Like the Marketplace Fairness Act

September 13, 2013 - James Fudge

From the "we-could-have-told-you-that-without-a-poll department" comes this story from Politico about the public's opposition to Internet taxes. The polls - conducted for two separate conservative groups - found that most voters oppose federal Internet sales tax legislation and suggested that lawmakers who voted for it could face serious challenges in the 2014 mid-term elections.

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RI Lawmaker Wants Subpoena Power in EDC-38 Studios Deal Review

September 12, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Rhode Island State Representative Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) wants the House Oversight Committee to grant subpoena power to a group of lawmakers looking into the Economic Development Corporation's 2010 deal with 38 Studios. Rep. MacBeth says that she wants to extract documents and compel appearances by key figures in Rhode Island's investment in Curt Schilling's now-bankrupt game development studio.

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Russia's Answer to SOPA Not as Draconian as Expected

August 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On August 1 Russia began using a new law designed to reduce online copyright infringement. Many called it Russia's version of SOPA, but the system is proving to be less draconian than many had first anticipated. The goal of the new law is to identify and block (at the ISP level) sites online that traffic in copyrighted material online such as movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more. As of this Thursday the system will have been in effect for three weeks, but the results might be considered surprising.

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Oklahoma Game Developers Send Letter to Sen. Coburn for Supporting 'Violent Content Research Act of 2013'

August 12, 2013 -

Oklahoma-based indie developer E. Zachary Knight and a number of other Oklahoma-based game developers have signed onto a letter asking Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) to oppose Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D) Violent Content Research Act of 2013 (S. 134). The letter, which was sent to his office today, urges Sen. Coburn to oppose the bill on the grounds that it is wasteful spending - a topic he has been all too vocal about in the past.

EFF Warns Americans About the Trade Promotion Authority

August 5, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning American citizens that something foul is happening in D.C. related to trade agreements and copyright laws. According to the EFF, U.S. lawmakers want to pass a bill that limits their own ability to improve or remove language in agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Yes, you have read that correctly.

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quiknkoldhas their own stream, you are a gamer. I think the only prerequiset is to Play Games for Enjoyment10/30/2014 - 10:21am
quiknkoldI always felt the Gamer Identity was expressing an enthusiasm for Gaming in general. There are different degrees to that. If you say "I love this game and play it, lets see what else" with Ipad game, you are a gamer. If you are a retro game collector who10/30/2014 - 10:20am
NeenekoIt is long overdue, and things will probably settle down when they accept that the industry does not cater to them and them alone and go back to posturing within their own subculture.10/30/2014 - 10:10am
NeenekoThe community has always been split, with many factions within it, and they used to not interact all that much. Now they are having to confront they are not alone and thus not the one twue gamer identity.10/30/2014 - 10:09am
CMinerMW: The two are not mutually exclusive.10/30/2014 - 10:05am
Matthew Wilsonthe gaming community is going to split in to 2 groups. one wants games reviewed as product, and the other as art with all the social critique that comes with that. at this point i dont think it can be stopped sadly.10/30/2014 - 9:56am
NeenekoIt is a wonderful example of the heart of the issue, people accustomed to being part of defining value slamming into people who have other values.10/30/2014 - 9:53am
E. Zachary KnightAlso, this is a hillarious view of Kickstarter "Fine, still doesn't justify taking people's money they gave her to do a project for herself." talking about Sarkeesian.10/30/2014 - 9:35am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/DanSlott/status/527814374459977728 One More Shot at Marriage.10/30/2014 - 8:44am
E. Zachary KnightApparently, it is ok to review a games art on whether or not you like the style, but not ok to review a game's story or theme based on whether or not you like or agree with it.10/30/2014 - 8:40am
MechaCrashComics never change because the people in charge now read comics when they were kids, and keep reverting comics to what they remember. As long as that cycle holds, change will be slow at best.10/30/2014 - 8:18am
Neeneko@ MechaTama31 - That is the big reason fansubs were tollerated for so long in the US, japanese studios kept watch to see which ones became popular via those networks.10/30/2014 - 8:11am
quiknkoldJournalists shouldnt be bigger than the stories they report or products they review.10/30/2014 - 7:48am
E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
 

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