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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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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