January 25th, 2006

George Bush: The (mis)Adventure Game

Sadly, GP must own up to being old enough to have fond recollections of text-adventure games distributed on 5.25" floppies.

So we got a definite larf when we found - by way of Kotaku - defective yeti's Iraqi Invasion: A Text Misadventure. The hero, of course, is one George W. Here's a sample:

Oval Office
You are standing inside a White House, having just been elected to the presidency of the United States. You knew Scalia would pull through for you.

There is a large desk here, along with a few chairs and couches. The presidential seal is in the middle of the room and there is a full-length mirror upon the wall.

What do you want to do now?

You are not able to do that, yet.

Self-reflection is not your strong suit.

It's not that kind of seal.

They are two several chairs arranged around the center of the room, along with two couches. Under one couch you find Clinton's shoes.

You are unable to fill Clinton's shoes.

Orlando Mayor Grooves on FPS Action

The mayor of Orlando plays first-person shooters?

Well, sometimes. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Mayor Buddy Dyer acquitted himself well recently in shooter action at a local tech event. As Sentinel reporter Scott Maxwell tells the story:

"Buddy Dyer just blasted a 12-inch hole in my chest. 'On many days,' he says, 'I've felt like doing that.' The mayor used something called a flak cannon, so there's not much chance I'm getting back up. The good news is that this is only a video game."

After they check out the racing action on an unspecified Xbox 360 game (Ridge Racer 6? Need For Speed: Most Wanted? PGR 3?), Mayor Dyer and scribe Maxwell just can't resist drifting back to the violent stuff.

"After the car race, we head to the scene of the unfortunate chest-blasting affair. The game is Unreal 2004, where we strap on $900 headpieces with tiny screens that change the landscape as we move our heads. This is supposed to be a quick demonstration of motion-simulation. But as soon as the mayor and I learn that heavy artillery can be collected and fired, this session degenerates into a battle of 5-year-olds. It ends when the mayor kills me with unnerving glee."

The setting is Otronicon at the Orlando Science Center, an event designed to attract gamers and developers to the central Florida area.

GP: Kinda cool that hizzoner was up for some Unreal 2004. Ironic too that, while Buddy Dyer was helping promote the video game industry which has become so important in the central Florida economy, two hundred miles away in Fort Lauderdale, pundits are still blaming games for a recent bloody rampage against homeless men.

Iowa Joins Video Game Legislation Bandwagon

A group of Iowa legislators proposed video game legislation in that state yesterday.

As reported in the Des Moines Register, HF 2104 would restrict minors from buying violent or sexually explicit games. Violations would subject retailers to $500 fines.

The Register reports that Iowa's bill is modeled after contested laws in California and Illinois. As GP readers know, California's legislation has been enjoined by a federal court pending a final decision on whether or not it is constitutional. The Safe Games Illinois Act, of course, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in strong language last month.

The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines), told the newspaper, "Parents are looking for help in dealing with parenting kids in today's technology... A voluntary (rating) system doesn't necessarily always work. Do we really want kids spending their free time trying to decide who they want to murder and how they want to murder them?"

However, House Majority Leader Chuck Gipp (R-Decorah), voiced concerns about the proposed bill.

"I don't think there is anybody that supports violent video games and sexually explicit material being sold to minors," he said. "However, how do you do it? Who is the one that determines what is and what is not (inappropriate)?"
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Utah Bill Lumps Video Games with Pornography

Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the leading battleground states in the 25 to Life controversy is considering its own video game legislation.

As reported in today's Salt Lake City Tribune, State Rep. David Hogue (R-Riverton) is taking up the battle against video game violence.

Hogue's bill, HB 0257 is quite a bit different from most laws crafted to prevent kids from purchasing violent video games. Perhaps in response to the increasingly-heard "violent games as porn" drumbeat, Hogue's measure is designed to amend an existing Utah statute which makes distributing pornography and explicit nudity to minors a felony. Hogue's proposal adds "inappropriate violence" to the porn law.

"We are seeing an increase in mental health problems with juvenile offenders," Hogue told the Tribune... "I feel real strong that violence should be in [the pornography statute]. We need to give parents a tool to protect their children... It's sending out the message that there is more than pornography that is threatening to juveniles."

Hogue's unique approach to the violence issue adds to Utah's existing pornography law such elements as the violence that holds the plot together; violence that trivializes the serious nature of realistic violence; violence that endorses or glorifies torture or "excessive weaponry;" violence that does not demonstrate the consequences or effects of realistic violence; and violence that depicts lead characters who resort to violence freely.
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