A new report from Libertarian publication Reason, "Millennials: The Politically Unclaimed Generation" (PDF) finds that a majority of young people it surveyed believe that government is "inefficient, abuses its power, and supports cronyism."
Earlier this week Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) filed legislation that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from attempting to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. While the legislation is more of a dramatic public show of support for the idea that the FCC should not have the power to regulate anything, it's also interesting because the Congressman is "bankrolled" by lobbyists for the telecommunications industry.
Conservative TV and radio host Glenn Beck criticized Ubisoft's recently released open-world hacking game Watch Dogs on his Internet TV show. During a recent episode of his show The Blaze, Beck called the game's protagonist Aiden Pearce an "anti-hero."
"Why must everyone be an anti-hero? Why must everyone break the law? Why can't we have a Superman? Why can't we have somebody who is doing the right thing, does the hard thing? Instead, everybody is an anti-hero," Beck said.
Connecticut state lawmaker DebraLee Hovey (R) has penned a lengthy editorial calling for warning labels on video games and for a sin tax to be levied against interactive entertainment products rated "M" by the ESRB. This is the second time Hovey has called for a sin tax on video games in the state, though her last effort failed to get passed by CT lawmakers.
If Republican California for Attorney General candidate Phil Wyman had his way State Senator Leland Yee (D) and two other lawmakers would be put to death if convicted of their crimes. He has put forward the idea that the best way to prevent government corruption is for those who put their constituents in harm's way with their dirty dealings should face the death penalty.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) will deliver an address to students at the University of California-Berkeley that paints a dark portrait of the intelligence community as power hungry and out of control, according to excerpts from the speech obtained by Politico.
Florida-based political group The National Liberty Foundation is catching some heat this morning for posting anti-immigration propaganda from Bioshock Infinite, a game that puts such forms of thinking under a microscope by focusing on an isolated society, its leader and the movement that wants to keep "America pure." The group describes itself as a conservative coalition made up of citizens that identify themselves as part of the Tea Party movement.
The plaintiff in the landmark gun rights Supreme Court decision that bears his name (Heller v. District of Columbia) warned that the effort to regulate violent video games in the U.S. Congress is "a backdoor attack on gun rights." The Supreme Court case, Heller v. District of Columbia, overturned D.C.'s handgun ban. In a report on conservative publication Human Events, Heller said that lawmakers are targeting video games as a way to get at the issue from behind.
Conservative college group Campus Reform's Caleb Bonham asks college students about the "virtual morality" (or lack thereof, from his perspective) in Grand Theft Auto V. In his video he interviews college students about whether it is acceptable to run over a prostitute and get your money back or kill policemen in the game. Most say that these are perfectly acceptable activities because the world is not real. Bonham does manage to stump a few people when he asks if allowing a player to rape someone is acceptable, just like the other things players can do in the game.
Continuing to show just how out of touch he is with reality, Joe Scarborough offered some silly comments about 20-somethings being lazy gamers on the Morning Joe show he co-hosts on MSNBC. His comments were his contribution to what could have been a serious conversation about how women are becoming the primary bread winners in American households and the shifting roles of gender. He did his best to derail the conversation, as usual.
Right Wing Watch (a web site that admittedly doesn't like the principals of conservatism or the people who push its agendas in print, online and on broadcast television) points out in this story that Glenn Beck blames the Sandy Hook School Shooting in Newton, Connecticut entirely on the shooter's consumption of violent video games. Beck made his comments on last night's show which airs on his web site.
You may recall the Space Invaders-inspired flash game Truth Invaders way back during the 2008 presidential campaign. Back then the game focused on the "lies" told by both Democrats and Republicans.
Well the game is back with a 2012 edition, but this time it focuses only on the "lies" of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican party.
The FAQ on the site tries to explain the change:
We alluded to this earlier but here's the full story on an amendment about abortion being offered to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Adding nonsensical or unrelated amendments to bills in committee is pretty normal, but Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) might win the booby prize for most unrelated issue ever attached to a bill. After a bill to ban abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks was defeated on Tuesday night because it failed to garner enough support (a two-thirds majority), Senator Mike Lee decided to offer it up as an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
Conservative-Tea Party-Libertarian activist and Ron Paul operative Jack Hunter tackles CISPA in the latest edition of his web show "The Deal with Jack Hunter" over on The Daily Caller. The show opens with a clip of a story about Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California), who wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General Eric Holder because her phone had been wiretapped.
Fox News commentator Oliver North has been signed to help Activision sell its next big Call of Duty game, Call of Duty Black Ops 2. North appears on-screen in an infomercial for the game talking about war. We'll leave the characterizations to Fox News (from his bio there as a contributor to the network) and this Wikipedia entry on him, but the short story is that North's past is marked with scandal.
In March of last year the state of Illinois decided to pass a law that collected Internet sales tax from online companies like Amazon.com and eBay. Commonly referred to as an "affiliate nexus tax," the law passed by Illinois and other states including California, Connecticut, and New York, required online retailers who advertised on "affiliate sites" that had a physical presence in the same state to collect sales tax. The Illinois law had broad support among lawmakers and the state’s governor, Gov. Pat Quinn (D).
According to a GamesIndustry International report, Electronic Arts has become the target of a letter writing campaign by family advocacy groups who are upset with same-sex relationships in several of its games including Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
An odd story on the conservative political news site The Daily Caller corners EA at GDC to ask them about the new SimCity game and if it was inspired by the recent publicity related to former presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. EA announced this week that they would release a new game in the city-building game series in 2013.
If Grover Norquist isn't breaking up with SOPA, he's certainly taking some time to revealuate his relationship with the anti-piracy bill. The face of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform is letting his underlings say the things he hasn't personally said about SOPA: he doesn't like it in its current form.
Alex Beltramo, the lead developer of the web-based online game Dungeoneers, says that he's been quietly working on his game for years, and planned to keep it under wraps until it was finished but something came up: the presidential campaign. Beltramo believes strongly in Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul - so much so that he has pledged to give the candidate money the first time a player slays a dragon in his game. The game, for the record - is currently free. Here's Beltramo, in his own words:
In yet another editorial masquerading as a news report (the last one being the whole Carole Lieberman "Games cause Rape" story), Fox News writer John Brandon takes another shot at stirring the pot about Epic Games' Bulletstorm. In his latest article, Brandon uses the censorship of the game in Germany as a jump-off point to attack Rock, Paper, Shotgun's dissection of his first article, to claim that "anyone" can buy the game online, and to throw some more quotes around. Of the censorship in Germany, Brandon opens by baiting gamers with the line: "It's too violent for Germany. But it's okay for America?”
Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation has issued a report urging congress to review what it calls 20 "unnecessary and harmful regulations" - three of which have to do with the FCC.
"This regulatory tide must be reversed," Heritage's Dianne Katz said. "Policymakers should not just prevent harmful new regulations, but must repeal costly and unnecessary rules already on the books."
Ars Technica details the three items that Heritage Foundation is putting a bull’s-eye on: net neutrality regulations, media ownership rules, and the FCC's merger review authority.
Arizona State Senator Linda Gray recently said that the Tucson shootings weren't caused by lax gun control laws, but a culture of violence.. and abortion. Yes, you have read that right, ABORTION. She later distanced herself slightly from her comments. How abortion factors into the equation I’m not sure, but politicians do so enjoy tying irrelevant things to tragedies to score political points..
"The problem is not the gun, but about respect for all human life, from the unborn, a 9 year old child, a senior citizen or a political leader," Gray told Raw Story, by e-mail. "The shooter had no respect for the value of any these innocent citizens who were injured or killed."
Rush Limbaugh recently defended videogames after a caller to his talk show brought up the subject of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, but is Limbaugh someone that the game industry even wants on its side?
Limbaugh used the case to rail against an over abundance of government and liberalism, asking the caller to “Join me when the government gets involved in all these other behavioral and speech things that they try to tell you and control us we can't do.” He added that he was “glad” that the case was taking place, as it would push these topics (over-governing and liberalism) into the mainstream, alerting people “to what’s happening throughout society.”
Believe it or not conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh recently came to the defense of videogames during a recent call to his radio show (thanks Kotaku!).
21-year old caller Cory from Waterville, Ohio posed the question to Limbaugh, asking if Schwarzenegger vs. EMA was a “relevant thing that the Supreme Court should ever be even considering.”
Limbaugh, in answering said that since he was 21 years old, he has “been concerned about the infringements on free speech that come from Democrat regimes and courts because I'm in the free speech business.”
Saying that he was "glad" that the case was happening, Limbaugh continued:
Could the Tea Party ultimately help to pass net neutrality legislation? While that might seem unlikely, and editorial on Nextgov tries to make the case, speaking to leaders on both sides of the issue. The Tea Party generally doesn't support net neutrality, because it see it as government intervention into a free market. But the real complaint the Tea Party has, according to experts, is the FCC's move to enact and enforce rules all on its own.
But groups that claim to have the ear of Tea party supporters say that, ultimately, members will support some sort of legislation put together by Congress. Why? Mainly because they do not want the FCC to be a lone sheriff making and enforcing rules.
Even though Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal had a few moments of shame after he was caught overstating his military service earlier in the year, he managed to stay well ahead of his Republican rival, but things are changing rapidly.
That’s because, it seems, that Linda McMahon has the momentum, according to the latest polls so much so, in fact, that a Reuters story from Sunday has the political chattering classes in the state afraid to place any bets on who might win in Nov. Connecticut’s primary is today, and while McMahon and Blumenthal will have a fairly easy time rolling over their party's challenges to incumbency (barring any surprises), their match-up this November won't be a cake-walk for either of them.
What's most interesting about this race is that both candidates have a history with videogames. For Blumenthal it has been against video games in general, and for McMahon it has been as a character in videogames based on the company she ran for a very long time.