Lawmakers Criticize DOJ Prosecution of Aaron Swartz

January 16, 2013 -

House lawmakers are criticizing federal prosecutors involved with the Aaron Swartz case, who killed himself in New York City after the U.S. Government refused to give the internet activist a plea deal. Earlier in the week the Justice Department officially dropped the case. Lawmakers blasted prosecutors for pushing aggressive hacking charges against Swartz, and vowed to look into the details of the case.

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Xbox Live Users: Mitt Romney Won Presidential Debate

October 5, 2012 -

While Microsoft's presidential debate live stream had a lot of problems, apparently they were able to glean some data from the event. An Xbox Spokesperson tells IGN that Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the debate by the Xbox Live audience.

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Reps. Darrell Issa and Anna Eshoo Stump for the 'Declaration of Internet Freedom'

September 18, 2012 -

In an opinion piece on Politico, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA.) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA.) make the case for open internet policies. They open the opinion piece by noting that both political parties have some language paying homage to the concept of a "free and open Internet" and explain what it all means in terms of what is going on in Washington. You may remember that Congressman Issa was at the forefront of fighting against SOPA when it was in committee.

Democrats Add Internet Freedom to Party Platform

September 5, 2012 -

Like Republicans last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Democrats are adding a new set of ideas to their national platform as they kick off their own convention this week in Charlotte, North Carolina: Internet Freedom. Of course, neither Democrats or Republicans believe in real Internet Freedom (you know, just leaving the Internet the way it is and not trying to regulate it).

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DNC Denies Westport, Ct. Request for Reimbursement

August 22, 2012 -

Earlier this month we wrote a story on the President's re-election campaign invading Westport Connecticut to take part in a fundraiser hosted by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. We thought it was simply a bad case of timing for a number of reasons (it caused chaos in the city and because he was pushing hard for passage of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 in the Senate).

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Demand Progress Urges Political Parties to Make 'Internet Freedom' Part of their Platforms

August 15, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Demand Progress launched a campaign this week to urge Democrats and Republican lawmakers to make a commitment - in writing - that they will protect internet freedom when creating new legislation and to make the issue part of their respective platforms.

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Democratic Senators Add Gun Control to Cybersecurity Bill

July 28, 2012 -

Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Barbara Boxer (CA), Jack Reed (RI), Bob Menendez (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) submitted an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 which would limit real-world gun rights. The language intends to make ownership or transfer of magazines (and other ammunition-feeding devices capable of holding ten or more bullets) illegal.

Megaupload Founder Assails U.S. President in Music Video

July 24, 2012 -

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has launched a song online attacking U.S. President Barack Obama and urging supporters not to vote for him in November. The song and video on YouTube is called "Mr President" and offers dire warnings to U.S. voters about the President such as "don't vote for those who would take us back in time."

In another line from the song he says"what about free speech Mr President, what happened to change Mr President." 

Senate Dems Tweak Cybersecurity Bill to Entice Republicans

May 7, 2012 -

Senate Democrats are tweaking their versions of cybersecurity legislation to gain more support from Republicans, according to a report from The Hill. The reason they are doing this, says the publication, is because they lack the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor.

DNC Chair is a SOPA Supporter

January 17, 2012 -

I don't know if SOPA or PIPA will have an impact on the presidential election, but it is disconcerting to note that the person serving as the spokesperson of the Democratic party is listed as a supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D- representing Florida's 20th District) is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee and is listed as a supporter of SOPA at ProPublica.org.

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Ron Paul, Nancy Pelosi Voice Opposition to SOPA, Protect IP

November 18, 2011 -

In a strange twist of fate or because of some sort of cosmic alignment of certain planets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul actually agree on something: they both think that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, are bad ideas. The latest SOPA opponent is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but Paul has been against it from the start.

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Congressman Markey Wants FTC to Probe App Transactions

February 9, 2011 -

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Ma.) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a closer look at the marketing practices of applications on Apple's App store and Google's Android Marketplace. Markey's concerns relate to programs geared towards children that may not adequately inform users of potential charges - particularly micro-transactions.

On Tuesday Markey sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Liebowtiz (and copied to Google and Apple), pointing to a story in The Washington Post about how in-app purchases on iPad, iPod and iPhone games such as Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo have caught some parents off guard. The Children apparently used parents' passwords to buy in-game items instantly.

"I am concerned about how these applications are being promoted and delivered to consumers, particularly with respect to children, who are unlikely to understand the ramifications of in-app purchases," Markey wrote in the letter.

Democrats Push for More Teeth in Net Neutrality Plan

December 17, 2010 -

It seems like no one besides Internet and wireless service providers like Net Neutrality as it is currently drafted. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and other Democratic House members have provided the FCC with a wish list of items they want to see in the proposal to be voted on December 21.

In a letter sent to the FCC on Friday, Markey and other House members asked for four key items:

 

  1. Nondiscrimination (a ban on paid prioritization)
  2. application of rules to both wired and wireless broadband
  3. Narrow exceptions for managed services
  4. A broad definition of Internet access services

 

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What a Difference a Day Makes

May 19, 2010 -

In politics, 24 hours is a lifetime when you are in the media spotlight. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal can attest to that personally, thanks to a freshly conducted telephone poll of "likely voters" in the state conducted by Rasmussen. In one day, Republican senatorial candidates are closing in on the Attorney General, who once enjoyed double digit leads over every possible opponent this fall. But the darling of the CT political machine has taken a real credibility hit not only in CT but around the country, following a New York Times report that he exaggerated his military record (or at the very least never corrected the record on it).

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CT AG Richard Blumenthal Down, But Not Out

May 18, 2010 -

Several news stories on the man that once railed against "Beer Pong" for the Wii and the classification of alcohol use in videogames by the ESRB, are causing the would-be Connecticut senate nominee a major headache today.

First the good news: DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said today that Democrats "will continue to support" senatorial candidate Richard Blumenthal in his bid to become the next senator from Connecticut. Menendez's support came hours after a bombshell story in the New York Times that Blumenthal had been "untruthful" about his Vietnam service record. Here's what the DSCC chairman had to say:

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NYT: Beer Pong Critic No Vietnam Vet

May 18, 2010 -

Current Connecticut Attorney General (and current senatorial candidate), Richard Blumenthal, has more to worry about than Beer Pong for the Wii and the way the ESRB classifies alcohol use in videogames this morning. According to a New York Times story, Blumenthal has been lying about his service in Vietnam. "Lying" is a strong term for a politician to face, and though he has acknowledged in the past that he didn't actually serve in Vietnam, he certainly has never gone out of his way to correct the record; in many speaking engagements across the state of Connecticut and in front of Veterans groups, he has gone as far as he could to give the impression that he was in fact a Vietnam veteran. He also never corrected the record on being on the Harvard swim team, a widely circulated biographical note that turns out to be false as well.

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Baltimore Mayor Resigns After of Alleged Misuse of Funds

January 7, 2010 -

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) has resigned after allegedly accepting gifts from a former boyfriend and developer and not reporting the income.

Among the accusations leveled at Dixon was that she misused gift cards intended for charity, instead using them to purchase videogame systems for her family.

Dixon will evacuate her office on February 4, but will retain her $83,000 pension as part of a plea-deal. City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) will take over for Dixon.

The Baltimore Sun has full details on the resignation.


Thanks Dan!


Game Parody of Obama School Speech Controversy a Poor Choice for September 11th

September 11, 2009 -

This week's controversy over President Obama's speech to America's school children has morphed into a rather unfortunate online game.

Obama's School Camp comes from Scottish firm T-Enterprise, which often mocks political issues with their Friday game offerings. Today's game challenges players to press letters on their keyboards which correspond to paper airplanes floating toward an animation of the President. Press the right letter quickly enough and the paper airplane disappears. Otherwise, it strikes the Obama character.

The paper airplane imagery seems to be an especially poor choice for a game published today, September 11th. It seems an even worse decision given that the game comes from T-Enterprise, which was the firm behind the now-canceled Rendition: Guantanamo project. A consultant to that game was alleged to have ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

117 comments

Massachusetts Guv Proclaims Video Game Innovation Day

September 10, 2009 -

As GamePolitics has previously reported, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is a tireless promoter of his state's growing video game industry.

Yesterday, the Guv made his support official. In a proclamation designating September 9th as Video Game Innovation Day, Patrick looked ahead to the launch of The Beatles Rock Band and harkened back to the creation of the original video game, Spacewar!, at MIT: 

Whereas In 1961, MIT students Martin Graetz, Steve Russell and Wayne Wiitanen invented the game Spacewar!, one of the first video games ever created; and

Whereas Throughout the Bay State, innovative companies are developing new gaming technologies from diagnostics to social media.  Our universities feature programs and curriculum that support the growth of the videogame industry; and

Whereas On this day, Harmonix Music Systems, the Cambridge-based inventors of Rock Band and developer of the original Guitar Hero games, is releasing The Beatles: Rock Band™, a game that will not only bring the creativity and joy of The Beatles music to countless people, but will introduce the Fab Four to new generations of fans,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim September 9th, 2009 to be,  Video Game Innovation Day...

Mass Technology Leadership Blog points out that the official fun will continue next week when 300 tech executives, members of the Mass Technology Leadership Cluster, will gather to celebrate the proclamation and release research findings on the state's video game industry. If you're local to Cambridge, the event is free.

14 comments

Connecticut Legislators Busted for Playing Solitaire at Work

September 10, 2009 -

A pair of Connecticut legislators were embarrassed when an Associated Press photographer snapped them playing Windows Solitaire during recent deliberations on the state budget.

The Hartford Courant reports that one of the game-playing pols, Rep. Jack Hennessy (D, left) has issued a rather profuse apology in a letter to constituents:

It was certainly bad judgment for me to play a computer game even for just a few minutes during the final House session on the budget. I am embarrassed, and I apologize to each and every person in the North End and to people across the state.

My actions were inexcusable. I do want my constituents to know that my poor judgment for a few moments on Monday in no way means I ignored your interests in representing you on this very serious matter...

I sincerely apologize to each of you. I look forward to having the continued privilege of representing you and your interests in Hartford. I thank you in advance for your understanding and have been humbled by those of you who have already expressed your understanding and forgiveness.

Hennessy maintains a photo gallery on his official website. The solitaire-playing picture is not included, however. The other Solitaire player was Rep. Barbara Lambert, also a Democrat.

Via: GameCulture

19 comments

Obama To Mention Xbox in Controversial Speech to Students

September 8, 2009 -

Amid protests and counter-protests, President Barack Obama will deliver a 20-minute speech on the value of education to America's students this morning.

The Back to School event has been banned from some school districts whose managers are apparently being influenced by the squeaky wheels among the anti-Obama crowd.

In any case, the White House has pre-published the text of the Prez's speech. And, once again, Obama will reference video games - specifically the Xbox:

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

 

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

 

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

 

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed...

199 comments

VP Was Gonna Buy Wii For Prez, But He's Already Got One, You See

August 25, 2009 -

Clearly, Vice-President Joe Biden does not read GamePolitics.

If he did, he would have already known that President & Mrs. Obama got their daughters Malia and Sasha a Holy Grail Wii for Christmas.

From the Los Angeles Times:

One White House official recalls the vice president fretting over what to get Obama for his 48th birthday earlier this month. Biden wanted to go with a Nintendo Wii. Told that Obama's daughters already have one, a disappointed Biden said, "You're kidding." Instead, he went with a golf range-finder to help the president judge distances to the hole.

Via: Kotaku

8 comments

Obama's Ghana Speech Streamed, Analyzed in Second Life

August 19, 2009 -

A speech delivered by Barack Obama in Ghana last month was the President's "most tweeted, Facebooked, and SMS'd event to date," according to Second Life Examiner (GP: although it's unclear how the site arrived at that conclusion).

The event was streamed live into both Second Life and Metaplace. The Click Heard Round the World offers its take on the event:

After President Obama's speech, there was a virtual debrief with three African experts: Ghanian musician DNA (Derrick Ashong), Ambassador Kenton Keith and African studies Professor Timothy Burke of Swarthmore College. People in Second Life and Metaplace could ask the speakers questions as well as engage in back channel chat.

3 comments

Congressman, Iowa Guv Support Push For Video Game Hall of Fame

August 14, 2009 -

If you build it, they will come...

Oops - wrong Iowa attraction reference.

But in Ottumwa, Iowa yesterday some 3,500 people turned out to show support for the building of a proposed Video Game Hall of Fame. Among those is attendance were Congressman David Loebsack (D) and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D), according to Kotaku. Judge read a proclamation from Gov. Chet Culver (D) which deemed Ottumwa as the "Video Game Capital of the World."

Chris Hoeksema, a member of the committee exploring the idea of building the Hall of Fame, was stunned by the turnout:

It's really been amazing. We were not expecting this much outpouring of support from the community and the state. And the entire world, really. We've had donations from overseas and some people flew in from the United Kingdom to attend. It's been an amazing amount of support.

A Radio Iowa report adds that the Hall of Fame project enjoys backing from city, county and state government officials. Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling, among the Hall's supporters, commented on some of the nuts-and-bolts issues which must be addressed:

We're very hopeful that we can become the video gaming capitol of the world... We need to get a comprehensive study done on exactly what is needed... Part of this will depend on what is the attraction going to be? We visualize that we would have international competition here as a part of this so we need something that's going to have some capacity.

22 comments

Online Game: Can Hillary Rescue Hostages Before Bill Steals the Glory?

August 14, 2009 -

Never far from the harsh glare of the media, the Clintons have once again been in the news of late.

Bill, of course, was recently credited with negotiating the release of two American journalists held by North Korea. Hillary's news was less positive. During a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo this week, a journalist's misstated question prompted a testy reply:

You want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the Secretary of State, I am. You ask my opinion. I will tell you my opinion; I'm not going to channel my husband.

As it turned out, the questioner meant to ask what President Obama thought about the issue, not former President Clinton.

The incident did not go unnoticed by the crew at T-Enterprise. The UK firm offers a new online game just about every Friday and this week it's Hillary: First Blood. In the game, a Rambo-esque Hillary, equipped with an RPG, tank and helicopter, must rescue a trio of journalists from Iran before Bill can fly in and sweet-talk them out of captivity. Along the way, the Secretary of State has to dodge spikes and a minefield.

6 comments

Democrats Dominate Video Game Industry's 2009 Campaign Giving

August 13, 2009 -

Mid-year documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission indicate that the video game industry is currently leaning to the Democratic side of the aisle when it comes to Congressional campaign donations.

ESA PAC, the political action committee of game publishers group the Entertainment Software Association, has disbursed $12,400 to Congressional candidates so far in 2009. All but $1,000 of those funds went to Democrats or Democratic PACs. Here's the breakdown:

  • Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) - $3,000
  • Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) - $1,000  (Meek is running for a vacant Senate seat)
  • New Democratic Coalition PAC - $2,000
  • Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) - $2,400
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD) - $1,000
  • Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) - $1,000
  • Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) - $1,000
  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) - $1,000

The contributions will be used by recipients for the 2010 mid-term elections. South Dakota's Thune is the only Republican among those receiving ESA PAC money so far in 2009.

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the ESA PAC mid-year report here...

ECA: Tell President Obama How Games Have Benefited You

July 27, 2009 -

If you're a regular GamePolitics reader, you know that President Barack Obama often refers to video games as something to be set aside in favor of presumably more worthwhile pursuits. In the most recent example, Obama, speaking at the NAACP's 100th anniversary dinner, counseled African-American parents to put away the Xbox.

Now, the Entertainment Consumers Association is urging gamers to let the President know that there is a lot of good in video games. Brett Schenker, Online Advocacy Manager for the ECA, writes:

Throughout the Presidential race and continuing into his Presidency, President Obama on numerous occasions has said "put the video games away." As a gamer and a voter, [the ECA is] asking you to email President Obama to point out some of the ways that video games have empowered and educated you, as well as their power to build teamwork and make people healthier...

We know video games can promote fitness. We know games can educate, because we've experienced that first hand. Video games are also not solely consumption entertainment as we're being challenged to create content for some of our favorite games. We're a part of the new global choice for entertainment and the community it's spawned.

 

We're asking you to speak out now and put a positive face on our community. Make sure to let the President know what we experience every day. Take a moment and make your voice heard.

To assist gamers in contacting the Prez on this issue, the ECA has set up an online action campaign where gamers can personalize their message and have it forwarded to the White House.

109 comments

Video Game Industry's New Top Lobbyist Has Obama Campaign Experience

July 21, 2009 -

Here's hoping that Erik Huey lasts longer with the Entertainment Software Association than did his predecessor.

Huey was announced today as the new head of government relations for the video game publishers' trade group. In plain English, that means Huey is the ESA's chief lobbyist. The post has been vacant since Jennifer Manner departed just a month after coming aboard in February.

According to the ESA's press release, Huey is a veteran attorney who has specialized in lobbying for the entertainment, communications and media sectors. His official title will be Senior Vice President for Government Affairs. ESA boss Mike Gallagher offered praise for the new guy:

Erik’s demonstrated advocacy abilities on behalf of numerous entertainment and telecommunications clients will serve him well as he navigates the specific challenges and opportunities that the ESA and our member companies face. As game technologies and gamer demographics continue to evolve, the entertainment software industry will rely on Erik and his team to help foster a beneficial environment for our industry’s innovation and creativity.

Huey, who starts his new gig in August, also has substantial political experience on the Democratic side, according to the ESA's press release:

Huey helped coordinate voter protection and mobilization efforts in Western Pennsylvania for the Obama Campaign for Change during the 2008 primary and general elections. Huey had a similar role during the 2006 mid-term elections, and served as the Kerry/Edwards Campaign’s “Get Out the Vote” Director for Western Pennsylvania in 2004. Huey also served as an advance coordinator for the 1992 Clinton/Gore Presidential Campaign...

As for Jennifer Manner, her story seems to have a happy ending as well. Coincidentally, we also learned today that she has accepted a post with the Federal Communications Commission.

9 comments

Obama's Deputy CTO Makes Second Life Appearance Today

July 20, 2009 -

The Obama administration's deputy chief technology officer for open government will pay a visit to Second Life at noon Eastern time, reports New World Notes.

Beth Simone Noveck, who is known as Lawlita Fassbinder on SL, has been a member of the virtual community since 2004. Noveck will speak about her new book, Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful.

Noveck talked about her job with the New York Times last month:

If [average] people are going to be asked to spend the time on contributing, you want to use the participation they give you...

Even something like having a blog with an open discussion about policy is so revolutionary in the way government works.

3 comments

Microsoft Responds to Obama's Admonition to Put Away the Xbox

July 18, 2009 -

President Barack Obama's admonition to parents to "put away the Xbox" has drawn a response from Microsoft.

Obama made the remarks on Thursday evening during a speech he delivered at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the NAACP. Here's what the President said:

To parents, we can’t tell our kids to do well in school and fail to support them when they get home. For our kids to excel, we must accept our own responsibilities. That means putting away the Xbox and putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences, reading to our kids, and helping them with their homework...

...and here is Microsoft's response, as reported by the Associated Press:

We agree with President Obama that it’s a time for families to work together so that kids use media in ways that are safe, healthy and balanced. Xbox 360 is the only console gaming system that has a timer feature allowing parents to set time limits for their kids, as well as parent controls to enable parents to set limits on what their kids are playing and watching.

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MattsworknameAndrew: SOrry I didnt get back, i went to bed before I saw your post. The Producer is listed as Arbitor36508/27/2015 - 6:06pm
Andrew EisenNope.08/27/2015 - 4:17pm
ZippyDSMleeDid you guys cover Fatal Frame 5 being nintendo Eshop only?08/27/2015 - 3:55pm
Big Perm120 bucks for a tetanus shot. Thanks Obama08/27/2015 - 3:01pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Of course they do. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Hell, Quiet's already been cosplayed quite a bit.08/27/2015 - 1:25pm
Big PermThere's been some pretty good Kill La Kill cosplay08/27/2015 - 12:56pm
Matthew WilsonI saw someone cosplay as the main charector from kill la kill last year at pax, so people do it.....08/27/2015 - 12:55pm
Andrew EisenPerm - Well yeah, Kojima himself said something along the lines of "Cosplay this, I dare you! No, seriously. Please cosplay this!" I was just wondering if there was an in-universe explanation.08/27/2015 - 12:45pm
Andrew EisenCheck out last week's story on The State of Play book for an updated cover and a list of all the authors and their essay titles! http://gamepolitics.com/2015/08/21/state-play-looks-current-state-video-games08/27/2015 - 12:44pm
Big PermI figured it was because titties are awesome08/27/2015 - 12:37pm
Andrew EisenI'm still waiting to see if any reviews spill the beans on the story reasons behind Quiet's goofy getup in Metal Gear Solid 508/27/2015 - 12:33pm
ZippyDSMleeHave you seen what the Deva wrestlers wear? Now lets get all that Japan only DLC for DOA over here, and DOA Volly ball,ect let the whining commence!08/27/2015 - 12:18pm
Matthew Wilsonsuprisingly, there has not been the negative reaction I was expecting.08/27/2015 - 12:13pm
Andrew EisenWe should devote a segment to R. Mika's costume on the podcast. It'll be great!08/27/2015 - 11:40am
Andrew EisenMatt - So... who is the producer of the video you linked?08/27/2015 - 11:15am
ZippyDSMleeAnd its not as bad as rumble roses :P08/27/2015 - 11:14am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I dunno wrestling is about spectacle nd bad costumes are part and parcel of it..08/27/2015 - 11:13am
Big PermThis costume is amazing. Praise it08/27/2015 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightOh wow. This costume is obnoxious. Why? The character and moves are cool but man that costume. Ugh. http://kotaku.com/r-mika-and-her-ridiculous-outfit-join-street-fighter-v-172692528208/27/2015 - 10:56am
Big PermHe leveled up08/27/2015 - 8:24am

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