Global Game Industry News Blog

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Note to Politicians... Being stupid costs the taxpayers...

Yet another example of the hoped utility of my research rears its head. It seems like the NY Bill for ESRB oversight is an interesting one, and if handled well might actually mean something.

On the other hand if they're stupid about it, it is just going to end up costing lots of regular people lots of money, just like in Illinois right now. I think they should take the money out of Governor Rod Blagojevich's personal finances.

Gamasutra - NY Senate Passes ESRB Oversight Bill
The bill, S.5888, sponsored by Republican state senator Andrew Lanza would if passed into law establish an 'Advisory Council on Interactive Media and Youth Violence' targeted with recommending steps above and beyond the ESRB's rating system to limit access to 'adult only' game material.

According to the senate press release, the bill also calls for fines and penalties for all New York retailers and internet sellers who do not clearly display ratings on the game cover or website.

Finally, it hopes to establish a "Parent-Teacher Anti-Violence Awareness Program," which it says will "empower parents and teachers to work with students and children on issues related to violence in video games," including the ratings system and parental supervision, funded by fees collected from retailers who break the above rule.

Said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, "Everywhere we look, violence surrounds us and it is unfortunate that our children are exposed to this explicit material, whether found in video games, movies or on television. Our children our spending too much time watching television and playing video games without any adult supervision, and we cannot sit back and allow them to be exposed to this senseless violence anymore. I applaud Senator Lanza for his leadership and we will continue to push the Assembly to take action against these issues."

GameDaily.Biz - Defeated Illinois Game Law Costs Taxpayers $1 Million
Remember Gov. Rod Blagojevich's attempt to ban the sale or rental of mature video games in Illinois? His unconstitutional law was quickly shot down in court and the state was ordered to pay the Entertainment Software Association more than $500,000.

Now a new report from Quad-Cities Online has revealed that Gov. Blagojevich spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to appeal the 2005 federal court ruling that his state was unconstitutional. Apparently, a House committee discovered the amount that was spent to pay lawyers just this week.

As reporter Mitzie Stelte wrote, for all the concern about violence in video games, "Gov. Rod Blagojevich's efforts to ban certain video games has done significant violence to Illinois' budget." In fact, the report exposed that the governor took money out of the public health department, the state's welfare agency and even the economic development department just to pay for this unconstitutional law.

"We had a strong suspicion that the governor was using funds appropriated by the General Assembly as his own personal piggy bank," Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, chairman of the State Government committee, said.

"It's unfortunate that the state of Illinois spent taxpayer money defending this statute. This is precisely what we told them would happen," added David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

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2 Comments:

  • Nothing new here.

    Video games are not yet accorded the status of being respected media, the way movies or TV are. One day it won't be popular to hate video games or make fun of those who play them, and then what will happen?

    We'll be more like the Koreans or Japanese, maybe.

    By Blogger Etelmik, at 5/29/2007 03:50:00 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/01/2007 04:23:00 AM  

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