Vice President Sees No Legal Hurdles in Enacting Sin Tax on Violent Media

May 13, 2013 -

Vice President Joe Biden thinks that it would be perfectly okay to tax violent video games. During a recent meeting to talk about strategy for enacting the president’s proposed gun legislation, Biden said that an idea floated by Reverend Franklin Graham in late April to tax violent media might be a good idea. Participants in the session told Politico that Mr. Biden said there’s "no restriction on the ability to do that; there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t."

ReConstitution 2012: A Bullsh*t Detector for the Presidential Debates

October 16, 2012 -

While we would be hard pressed to attest to the validity or effectiveness of the ReConstitution 2012 interactive web app, we do find it more than a little amusing - mostly because of the way its creators describe it.

Political Kombat '12 - Round One

October 1, 2012 -

Slate has put together a series of videos that show the past and upcoming presidential political debates as a series of fights similar to Mortal Kombat called "Political Kombat '12."

Effects of New Federal Anti-Piracy Law Worry ECA's Hal Halpin

November 14, 2008 -

In an interview with The Escapist, Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin discusses his worries over the PRO-IP Act, a new piece of anti-piracy legislation signed into law in October:

The PRO IP Act was concerning for us primarily because the wording of the law was so broad and open to interpretation. It also provides intellectual property holders with unusually over-reaching rights and at a time when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) too empowers that same community.

 

I fear that PRO IP and DMCA will drive a wedge between the producer/consumer relationship, one that has served the games business well. I would also hate to see us collectively follow the path [of aggressively suing consumers] that the music industry has followed. In addition to it being a patently bad model, proven unsuccessful by every measure, it's also clearly ineffective. Worrying still is how handily [PRO IP] passed - with broad support from both parties. The fact that the Vice-President Elect continues to be a proud sponsor makes me think that it'll be a bumpy ride... one played out in America's courts, for a long time to come.

As GamePolitics has previously reported, among the provisions of the PRO-IP Act are these consumer-unfriendly gems:

  • increases the penalties for infringement by expanding what is considered a 'work'
  • broadens the ability of the government to permanently seize goods
  • creates an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, a new cabinet position whose sole job is to increase intellectual property enforcement.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

16 comments

Last Call for Election 2008 Flash Games includes Joe the Plumber: Layin' Pipe

November 8, 2008 -

GamePolitics covered so many election-themed Flash games during the run-up to November 4th that we actually lost count.

Surprisingly, however, a roundup on Amazon.com's Game Room Blog turns up a few that we missed. For the sake of completeness, here they are, along with Amazon's description:

  • Joe The Plumber: Layin' Pipe  ...use your brainteasing abilities to beat the flush in this escalating series of puzzles that are reminiscent of the hacking mini-games of BioShock.
  • Below The Beltway  ...this boxing game [featuring the red and blue tickets]... pulls no punches.
  • Campaign: General Election Edition ...A turn-based strategy game where players choose their candidate and support staff members--each with different strengths, weaknesses and special moves... Singleplayer and multiplayer...
  • AirMILF ...Thanks for the memories Governor [Palin]
     
5 comments

Top 20 Video Game Moments from Presidential Campaign

November 5, 2008 -

DasGamer has an entertaining feature on what they bill as the The Top 20 Video Game Moments In The 2008 Presidential Election.

Highlights include:

  • the Ron Paul WoW march
  • Barack Obama's XBL ads
  • John McCain's Pork Invaders Facebook game
  • the Sarah Palin All Your Base video
  • a list of Game Biz contributions to candidates
2 comments

The Sims 3 Shows Off with Sarah Palin vids

November 2, 2008 -

Maxis is serving up a preview of The Sims 3 engine with a pair of videos featuring a Sim Sarah Palin.

In the trailer embedded here on GP, the Republican VP candidate dances (in camouflage lingerie) at a rally. In a second video Palin tussles with her opposite number, Democrat Joe Biden.

John McCain and Barack Obama also appear. We enjoyed this little notation at the end of the trailers:

No candidates were injured during the making of this video.

 

Free Stuff: Candidates Made into Spore Characters

November 1, 2008 -

Maxis has crafted the 2008 presidential tickets for Spore users.

From the press release:

For a bit of fun, EA’s Maxis studio has created the presidential and vice presidential candidates in the critically-acclaimed video game, Spore. Created with the game’s Spaceship Editor, players can download the characters, drag them into Spore to edit – even subscribe to the Sporecast and meet them flying around in Space! 

CLick here for more info...

8 comments

Rock the Quote Challenges Your Knowledge of Candidates

October 19, 2008 -

Boston-based Metaversal Studios has released Rock the Quote, a web-based game which challenges how much players know about remarks made by November hopefuls John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Players earn two points for correctly identifying a quote and one point for getting just the party right. Three wrong answers leads to game over.

Metaversal Studios' founder Jay Laird, lead designer on Rock the Quote, talked about his game:

With over 100 questions, we have yet to see anyone finish the game... [While watching the debates] I noticed how many of the candidates' sound-bites seem interchangeable. Sure, there are things like the hockey-mom references that make it easy, but when it comes down to the bigger issues, I wonder how many people can tell the difference.

 

[For example,] McCain says he won't raise taxes, while Obama says he'll cut them for 95% of Americans.  In the past, you'd expect the latter promise to come from a Republican, and I bet a lot of people would still make that assumption.

It was pretty depressing to hear Biden say so forcefully that he doesn't support gay marriage.  I know it's a political maneuver to try to hold on to some socially conservative votes, but now that 3 out of 50 states have legalized it, you'd think they'd make it part of their 'change' initiative.

Rock the Quote is planned as a trilogy, with the second part launching on Tuesday. Check Metaversal's Burning Village site for updated news on RTQ.

Second Life Twitter Mashup Shows Tweets About Candidates

October 4, 2008 -

Second Life users can now follow what Twitter users are saying about the presidential tickets.

Steve Nelson of SL's Capitol Hill area writes:

I've installed a new display at Capitol Hill in Second Life that streams Twitter tweets about candidates.  The tweets float above columns, and are refreshed every minute with a search for Obama, Biden, McCain or Palin. You can also talk to the display to get the latest tweets about an individual candidate. Touch a column, and you get the original post on Twitter that you can use to follow links, etc...

 

As for me, joining the discussion in Second Life, with an eye on the Twitter election channel, and another eye on my TV, makes my head explode.
 

11 comments

Game Biz Types Leaning Toward Obama?

October 1, 2008 -

Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two Interactive and John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, might not be able to get together on a merger, but they seem to agree on at least one thing: Barack Obama.

Both game biz execs have contributed to Obama's presidential campaign.

In fact, in research conducted by GamePolitics of publicly available records, A-list video game industry types seem to be leaning in the Democratic direction. Of 16 donors we found, only three had given to Republican candidates. Meanwhile, 13 had donated to Democrats (although only 9 of these gave to Obama).

While our survey can't in any way be considered scientific, we looked at several dozen other prominent industry figures, but did not find any presidential campaign contributions that met our guidelines. The ground rules in use dictated that we would only consider 2007-2008 presidential contributions. In some cases, however, donors gave substantial amounts to congressional races or non-candidate-specific political action committees. Those aren't listed here.

Among the biggest names we found were Rockstar's Sam Houser (Obama), Spore designer Will Wright (McCain) and Ultima designer (and space traveler) Richard Garriott (Hillary Clinton). Here's the list:

Republican contributors:

  • Will Wright: (Spore, The Sims) $3,000 to McCain; previously donated $2,350 to Giuliani
  • Bobby Kotick (Activision CEO) $2,300 to McCain; previously donated $2,100 to Romney
  • Curt Schilling (38 Studios) $2,300 to McCain.

Democratic contributors:

GP: We will update the list as additional donors are located.

UPDATE: Adding links for each donor. Just click on the name for details. Also, removed a couple of mistaken entries on the Democratic side. Specifically, we had initially listed a John Carmack, but further review indicated that it was not the game desgner.

Sites Lampoon Candidates with Game Links

September 24, 2008 -

Although neither the McCain-Palin or Obama-Biden tickets have especially significant track records in regard to video game issues, one of them will win in November and thus be in a position to influence the course of the public debate over games.

With that in mind, it's clear that some bloggers can't resist sending a bit of parody the candidates' way.

Kotaku yesterday ran What Can Games Teach Us About the Election?, recommending that the would-be presidents study titles like WoW (leadership), Missile Command (foreign policy) and Trauma Center: Under the Knike (heath care). Here's a sample:

Far from condemning video gaming, McCain and Obama would do well to embrace gaming culture in the hope that some of our collective wisdom will rub off...

 

Worried that you may not have traveled extensively enough, or had enough experience on the world stage?

 

...Chillax, just grab a PC and binge on Civilization... A few Civ campaigns should be enough for a basic grounding in the subtle nuances of international relations. The tech progress tree might also give a greater understanding of science although beware — if the candidates heed the game's advice too closely, Wall Street may reel from the unexpected national investment in Pottery and Burial Rituals.

 

A Civ player quickly learns the importance of a stable economy to a war effort. It's no good throwing phalanx after phalanx at a conquered land if your advisors are telling you to build more granaries, after all. Better to focus on diplomacy, and maybe build a colossus or two to keep the plebes happy back home.

Meanwhile, Daily Game has a two-parter with a slightly different twist on the subject. If Barack Obama and Joe Biden Were Video Games and If John McCain and Sarah Palin Were Video Games strains the metaphor a bit to relate the candidates to a half-dozen or so games.
 

1 comment

Play the News features Biden-Palin Debate Game

September 17, 2008 -

Impact Games' Play the News is currently offering a chance to weigh in on the upcoming vice-presidential debate between Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden. The debate will take place on October 2nd at Washington University in St. Louis.

If you're not familiar with Play the News, Impact CEO Eric Brown describes it as "where fantasy leagues meet the evening news." Players can check out background information, select optional courses of action and make predictions. PTN tracks your score and allows you to level up and earn achievements.

9 comments

Obama Fundraiser To Be Held in Second Life

September 9, 2008 -

Can online games serve as a vehicle for campaign financing?

We may find out, given that an upcoming Second Life event is designed to raise money for the Obama campaign. As detailed by Midcourt, the virtual fundraiser will take place next Sunday from 4-7pm Pacific time. A DJ will be playing music and supporters can leave money in donation boxes.

Planners of the Obama event hope to raise 100,000 Lindens, SL's in-game currency. That would be about $380 at current exchange rates. That's not exactly the kind of money that will push a candidate over the top, so the event is probably more significant as an experiment in virtual political fundraising.

9 comments

Summarizing the Gaming Platforms in Presidential Race

September 5, 2008 -

In an article titled, Who Is The Gamer's Candidate?, Edge Online has recapped the positions of both parties' presidential tickets as they relate to video games.

It's good to know that none of the four candidates have ever gotten behind a video game ban, although Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin gave consideration in the past to censoring books. Of the four, Barack Obama has said and done the most in regard to games.

While the EO piece offers no new information, it is a worthwhile summary.

Report: Obama VP Choice Biden is Anti-consumer on Tech Issues

August 26, 2008 -

CNet's Declan McCullough reports that Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) has an anti-consumer track record when it comes to technology.

In the past the Democratic VP nominee-apparent has stood with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on copyright issues.

From the Cnet report:

[Biden] has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders... ranks toward the bottom of CNET's Technology Voters' Guide, [his] anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP [encryption]...

 

Biden became a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry in their efforts to expand copyright law. He sponsored a bill in 2002 that would have make it a federal felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs...

 

A few months later, Biden signed a letter that urged the Justice Department "to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer networks." Critics of this approach said that the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and not taxpayers, should pay for their own lawsuits...

 

All of which meant that nobody in Washington was surprised when Biden was one of only four U.S. senators invited to a champagne reception in celebration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hosted by the MPAA's Jack Valenti, the RIAA, and the Business Software Alliance. (Photos are here.)

McCullough reports that Biden has "steadfastly refused" to answer Cnet's questions on his tech voting record.

GP: It's ironic that Biden has chosen to portray himself as an intellectual property rights champion. He has twice been outed for plagiarizing.

 
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Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
 

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