Casino RPG Trailer Blocked On YouTube Due To Vague ToS Violation

September 26, 2013 - E. Zachary Knight

Gold Fire Studios recently learned that its latest gameplay trailer for Casino RPG has been hit with a terms of service violation and has been removed from their channel. This was the trailer produced for the recent public beta launch of the game.

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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.

Oklahoma Game Tournament Suffers Last Minute Cancellation Because... Gamers

January 23, 2013 -

For months, the popular gamers group OKGamers.com had been working with Sapulpa, OK based Central Technology Center to organize and host the fifth annual TechCon this coming Saturday. Hundreds of gamers planned to come out and participate in a variety of gaming tournaments from Soul Caliber to League of Legends. You can imagine the surprise and frustration of those gamers when they saw this abrupt message on the Facebook event page.

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$10.7 Million Military Game Project Begins Testing Phase

March 8, 2012 -

Testing began on a video game created by researchers at the Oklahoma University funded by a $10.7 million grant it obtained in October of last year from the U.S. government. University students signed up to play the game and check for coding typos and other obvious problems, play tester and communications senior Chelsey Schuessler told the UO Daily. In the next phase of the project, which begins in August, researchers will test the game to see if does what it is intended to do: prevent biases in decision-making.

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Introduces Bill to Tax Violent Video Games

February 1, 2012 -

An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would impose a tax on "violent video games" to help fight childhood obesity and bullying. Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller (D-Stilwell) introduced bill HB 2696, which would add a 1 percent tax on games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the ESRB. These funds would be used for fighting childhood obesity and bullying. 

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Oklahoma University Researchers get $10.7 Million Grant for Video Game Development

October 26, 2011 -

An Oklahoma research team led by communications professor Norah Dunbar and the Air Force Research laboratory have managed to score an unprecedented grant of $10.7 million USD to develop a video game to train intelligence officers in the government.

Dunbar, along with Scott Wilson, associate director for Innovative Technologies at the OU K20 Center, is overseeing the development of the game, which is called Intelligence Crisis: codename MACBETH (or "Mitigating Analysts Cognitive Bias by Eliminating Task Heuristics").

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OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

December 7, 2010 -

If you are planning your last will and testament in the state of Oklahoma, you now have to worry about what to do with your virtual belongings. According to a report in the IB Times (thanks EZK), a new state law in Oklahoma gives estate executors and administrators the power to "access, administer, or terminate" social media and online accounts.

According to former state Rep. Ryan Kiesel (D-Seminole), a co-author of House Bill 2800 (before he left office), the law is meant to remind people that, when they are planning what happens to their real-world estate, they should probably figure out what they want done with their virtual stuff as well.

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Oklahoma Governor Opposes Net Neutrality

July 7, 2010 -

Right wing organization Americans For Tax Reform is no doubt delighted to report on a recent editorial in Tulsa World penned by Oklahoma Democrat Governor Brad Henry. The editorial, "FCC broadband plan sets us on the wrong path," talks about why the FCC's "third way" to net neutrality is not a good idea. Reading through the editorial, you can hear familiar catch phrases proponents use when discussing net neutrality, like new regulations having a "chilling effect," causing job losses, a decline in investment by broadband providers in rural areas, and more.

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OSU Buyer Allegedly Dropped Funds on Sex Toys, Videogames

June 28, 2010 -

People spending other people’s money just can’t seem to stop themselves from buying videogames.

NewsOK carries the story of 44-year old Cynthia Low, a former Senior Financial Assistant in Oklahoma State University's chemistry department, who apparently used school funds to procure Nintendo Wii games, women’s undergarments, jewelry and a variety of sex toys.

Low left her position after hints of impropriety, but it appears tax payers may be on the hook for the tens of thousands in illicit purchases, as OSU officials said they had no choice but to pay the bills for the items.

In her position Low routinely purchased laboratory and office supplies adding up to over $10,000 per month. OSU said that it is investigating the matter and that it would not “tolerate this type of action.”

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Community Member Enters Political Arena

June 17, 2010 -

The current state of politics may be exasperating to most, but it takes a certain mentality to dive in and try to personally bring about change. One of GamePolitics own community members has had enough and decided to do just that.

Zachary Knight is a GamePolitics moderator, ECA Chapter President and burgeoning game developer, and he’s made the decision to run for State Representative in his home state of Oklahoma. EZK, as he’s known around here, will be running in District 46, which comprises Newcastle, Noble and Norman.

EZK was good enough to take a few minutes out of his day in order to answer a few questions for us.


This is your first foray into politics correct? What prompted you to jump in now?

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OK Set to Raise Licensing Fees for Arcade Machines

June 7, 2010 -

Facing a budget shortfall of $1.2 billion, the state of Oklahoma is looking to zap vending machine and arcade operators with a fee increase of about 300 percent.

Effective July 1, the cost of a license for such machines will rise from $50 to nearly $150, which will make life more difficult for arcade operators like Mike Sefcovick, who operates Cactus Jack’s in Oklahoma City.

Sefcovick pays about $17,000 a year currently to license his 350 machines, a number that will skyrocket to around $52,000 (approximately $145 per machine) following the implementation of the increase.

Sefcovick, speaking to News9, said about the increase, “It’s going to hurt us bad.”

Governor Brad Henry's spokesperson Paul Sund added, “The question was simple, do you raise fees or do you lay off teachers. Do you raise fees or furlough troopers; we thought it made more sense to raise fees.”


Thanks E. Zachary Knight!

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TV News: M-rated Games Need Not Apply for Oklahoma Tax Break

February 9, 2009 -

In late January GamePolitics reported on a bill before the Oklahama which would provide tax breaks to video game developers - but only if their project wasn't likely to earn an M (17 and older) rating.

GP comment mod E. Zachary Knight, who alerted us to the original story, has now pointed us to KFOR-4's coverage of the bill (fast forward to 5:38).

KROF reporter Jesse Wells sums the issue up nicely:

Ironically, the M-rated restriction on video games doesn't apply to TV and film projects made in Oklahoma. They get tax breaks even if they're rated R or NC-17.

Bill sponsor Sen. Anthony Sykes (R) declined to be interviewed.

30 comments

Proposed Oklahoma Tax Break Excludes M-Rated Games

January 23, 2009 -

From the good news/bad news department:

An Oklahoma state senator has proposed tax incentives for game developers - but only if their project is eligible for a T (13+) or lesser rating from the ESRB.

It was longtime GamePolitics comment moderator E. Zachary Knight who alerted us to the measure, SB644. The proposal by Sen. Anthony Sykes (R), would make game projects eligible for tax breaks which already apply to films, commercials and TV productions in the state.

The video game rating requirement is spelled out in the language of the bill:

“Video games” mean products that are intended for commercial use or are produced for distribution on electronic media and which include an appreciable quantity of at least three (3) of the following types of data: text, sound, fixed images, animated images and 3D geometry and which are rated or will be rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board with the ratings of Early Childhood, Everyone, Everyone 10+ and Teen.

While games are restricted to projects appropriate for those under 17, the only eligibility requirement placed on film content is that it be neither child pornography nor obscene. By that standard, R-rated films and MA-17 television programs would easily qualify for the tax break.

EZK spoke to Sen. Sykes yesterday about the rating requirement and filed this report with GamePolitics:

[Sen. Sykes]... would rather not include the ratings restriction. Unfortunately, as he went around to his fellow senators asking for their support, the first question out of their mouths was whether there would be ratings restrictions.

He is well aware of the [failed] game legislation of [2006] and many of the people who voted for that bill are still in office and were some of the people who demanded the restriction...

He also raised some concerns about [possible] lobbying against the bill... His final concern was whether he could get enough support during such economic turmoil. Oklahoma is facing a budget shortfall this year and that may not make such a tax break very appealing to many people.

GamePolitics readers will recall that Oklahoma's 2006 video game content law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in September, 2007.

If the measure is passed, Oklahoma will join neighboring Texas as the only states tying game developer incentives to content restrictions.

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Goth_Skunk@WonderKarp: Given Rosario's outspoken criticisms of the conduct of the IGDA, I would not be one bit surprised if he's being strong-armed into silence in closed-door meetings. He's not towing the party line, after all.01/30/2015 - 11:38pm
MechaTama31EZK: Thank you! (And I was able to see that you did it, only because you did it. How appropriate! :)01/30/2015 - 11:37pm
Matthew Wilson@Monte Nintendo is a Japanese company though. consoles are dead in japan. ps sony is a international company, so they do not much care about Japanese sales much.01/30/2015 - 10:11pm
MonteOnly one generation ago nintnedo had the best selling console. They know their games are still popular and can move their hardware. They just need to focus on better gaming hardware and advertising (their youtube policy not helping)01/30/2015 - 9:58pm
MonteI'd expect Nintendo to keep making consoles, much like the gamecube i doubt nintendo will see the Wii U as a sign of the end for consoles. There are multiple reason why the Wii U failed a big one being marketting.01/30/2015 - 9:55pm
Wonderkarpwhen asked on Twitter, the Chairman said He couldnt comment at this time https://twitter.com/siloraptor/status/561284497275367424. still looking for facts01/30/2015 - 9:41pm
Wonderkarphttp://pressfarttocontinue.com/2015/01/30/igda-puerto-rico-closed/ this is what I have so far01/30/2015 - 9:27pm
Wonderkarpso allegedly, IGDA has closed their Puerto Rico branch. This comes after the Chairman of the Puerto Rico branch was blocklisted by Randi Harper. I'm trying to dig up more info on it. all I have is a link with some info, but its not cited.01/30/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenSo, kinda like the Wii U just with a GamePad that's portable?01/30/2015 - 9:13pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I hope they do a Ipad/iphone thing. make a home console/handheld where games are playable on both. that is what I would want from them.01/30/2015 - 9:00pm
Andrew EisenThat would be a shame but as long as I can play comfortably on my TV I'll probably be fine with whatever the future brings.01/30/2015 - 8:56pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I would get used to it. I do not think nintendo is going to do another home console , but I suspect a hybrid one. 1. they are doing worse than the gamecube. 2. the home console market is dead in japan. even the ps4 isnt selling there.01/30/2015 - 8:54pm
Andrew EisenAside from that (and the aiming isn't too smooth but it's turn based so it's not a big deal (maybe better with Circle Pad Pro or New 3DS?)) my only other quibble is I'd much prefer playing it on a console. But I say that about nearly every handheld game.01/30/2015 - 8:39pm
Andrew EisenFrom what I've seen of Valkyria Chronicles, this is significantly slower. Mechanically, it's fine and plays into the game well. It just takes too long.01/30/2015 - 8:37pm
Matthew Wilsonyup like VC it moves every enemy each turn one by one.01/30/2015 - 8:33pm
Andrew EisenI played most of the Codename Steam demo. Pretty neat so far but the enemy turn (it's turn based) takes way too long.01/30/2015 - 8:31pm
Goth_SkunkJust finished the first episode of Life is Strange. The writing is hit-or-miss, the lip-syncing is awful (but I can't fault an indie dev for that), but the chronokinesis mechanic is dynamite. Love the concept. Can't wait to play more.01/30/2015 - 8:23pm
Andrew EisenNintendo invites disaster!01/30/2015 - 7:34pm
TechnogeekRelevant links: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/01/apex_2015_video_gaming_tournament_at_secaucuss_emp.html http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/01/30/apex-2015-smash-bros-tournament-resumes-after-short-delay01/30/2015 - 7:29pm
TechnogeekApparently, this was the first SSB tournament to actually be sponsored by Nintendo; the upcoming Wii U title Splatoon was even going to be demoed there.01/30/2015 - 7:29pm
 

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